Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The road is my retreat

You've won a month-long, all-expenses-paid writing retreat. Where would you go and why?

Oh mannnnn...

First off, what's the catch? Is there a per diem regardless of expenses, or do I have to submit receipts? Is there a cap? And if I don't get any writing done must I pay it all back?

Okay, no catch. The question is not where you would go for a vacation, but for a writing retreat. I've never had one, but I'm guessing it means a place you go to get respite from the stresses of everyday life, commit yourself to your work, expand your mind, be inspired, and get the words flowing.

In that case, my answer would either be an apartment in North Vancouver, where my characters are living and working, in order to breathe the same air as they do, and get better acquainted with where they live and what makes them tick...

... or ROAD TRIP! Rent a camper van and travel from west coast to east. Unplug and get to know my country the old-fashioned way, on the ground, calling home from payphones and dining in style at roadside picnic tables. I might not get much writing done, but how inspiring that would be!

Even if what I garner from my road trip doesn't directly figure into my stories -- they're police procedurals, not travelogues -- I think it would expand my writing skills in a big way. It's like learning to draw anatomically correct figures before painting abstract, or studying music theory only to end up jamming in a garage band -- not mandatory, but how can it hurt?

Either of the above options would be a fabulous kick-start for me, if we're talking writing. For a regular vacation, on the other hand, I wouldn't mind a lake and loons.


Dietrich Kalteis said...

The road trip sounds good, although I don't think you'll find too many phone booths any more.

Paul D. Marks said...

Road trip! That sounds terrific, RM. Don't forget roadside diners besides the picnic tables. But like Dieter says, I doubt you'd find too many payphones anymore.

Unknown said...

There are still a few booths around! I was going to say roadside diners, Paul, but it sounded too fattening. :)