I’ve just returned from a week at Agama Yoga in Koh Phangan where I completed the second week of the four-week Level 1 Intensive instructor course. It reminded me that it’s so important to really ‘get away’ occasionally to totally focus on an area of your own personal or professional development to truly gather some momentum. Retreats can often fill this bill.
The idea to do this yoga course came about last year when I held a writers’ retreat in Phuket. I decided to begin each day with my own yoga practice and invited anyone who was so inclined to join me. Almost everyone did… and it was 7:30 in the morning! I’ve been doing yoga for years but I’m not an instructor. The response was so positive that I thought it would be nice to add that to my repertoire to make the addition of yoga in the morning a more formal affair. Yoga and writing just seem to have such a natural fit… one clears the mind in order for the creativity to flow. My plan is to have level 1 completed before the next retreat in the fall (yes, it has become an annual event).
As I prepare for the second annual Phuket Paradise Writers’ Retreat, I reflect on one of the many joys of a writing retreat that was so evident last year – the camaraderie that evolved starting on day one at the welcome buffet. The group immediately gelled as if they were old friends (a few actually were for me, which made it even more enjoyable).
The group was made up of storytellers, deep thinkers, comedians, healers and teachers. The ideas that flowed and writing that ensued made us laugh, cry and pause in reflection. It was another great joy to watch the process unfold as both beginners and veteran writers read their writing out loud and each member of the group followed up with thoughtful and meaningful critiques.
My philosophy on writing retreats is to keep them small so that even the most shy in the group can begin to feel comfortable and open their hearts and share. Creating a safe place to experiment and grow as a writer is the ultimate mission. Being in a peaceful, naturally beautiful environment surrounded by other like-minded, supportive, creative, passionate and compassionate writers makes you never want to leave. Yet, even when you do return to reality, there’s a warm memory to pull from when inspiration is lacking.
The other joy of going on a writing retreat is the opportunity for uninterrupted, solitary writing time to make significant head-way on that WIP, knowing that input and advice and possibly some creative collaboration is close-by… not to mention a sandy beach and a cold beer if you happen to be in Phuket!
This year’s retreat will be held from October 31 through November 7. I’m thrilled to be joined again by Jo Parfitt (thanks Jo for hosting my guest post here). Jo will be doing a full day workshop called ‘The Naked Writer’ that will help you get in touch with your emotions and write words that move and inspire other people.
If you’d like to learn more about the Phuket Paradise Writers’ retreat, email me at
or visit http://www.globalwritingsolutions.com/Writers_retreat.html.
For those of you who are wondering, it’s absolutely peaceful and safe here in Phuket (and airport transfers will be arranged from door to door so you won’t have to worry one little bit).
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