The first time I had a weekend to myself away from my family when my son was not much more than two, I was actually working—teaching at a lovely seaside writer’s conference along California’s central coast. Each of my two and a half days I had full loads, with workshops and one-on-one critiques with dozens of writers. I went in expecting to be pleasantly exhausted.
What I hadn’t anticipated was that the location of the conference—with ocean views from my hotel room, and the salt-scented beach in walking distance—would bring me to a state of ease and relaxation between sessions.
In fact, so inspired was I by the great, stimulating conversation about writing going on at the conference, coupled with the peace of the natural setting, I found myself working on my own writing in between teaching.
I came away from this conference thinking that the perfect writing retreat would be one part writing intensive—where you have deep, focused time with instruction, coupled with deep, peaceful downtime in a beautiful setting.
When I first visited the Mount Madonna Center, where WriterPath retreat is held, at the behest of a writing friend who took herself up there for single day retreats, I was struck by the same feeling of respite up there in the forested mountains. There’s a magic to the place that has to be experienced in person. Whispers through the tall, stately redwoods. Glimmering hints of the ocean through the fog; wild turkeys and deer who often accompany you on the bucolic trails, not to mention a staff who live in residence and whose entire mission is driven by service to others. It never fails to make me feel internally spacious, wild with possibilities, but also rested, nourished, tended.
So often our best intentions to make time for our writing go awry in our busy lives. I’m always amazed what one weekend can do to plug me back into my own. That’s our hope for you, who may be considering a retreat of your own, and why we think you might have the most inspiring, nurturing weekend if you join us in May.
We hope to see you!