Thursday, June 2, 2011

Time and Space to Write

St. Michael's Hall
A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to go on a writing retreat. My writing group, the Saskatchewan Romance Writers, goes on an annual retreat each spring at St. Peter's Abbey, a monastery and school in the Saskatchewan countryside. For three and a half days, I got to write, talk about writing, and spend time with writing friends.

The minute I step onto the grounds of St. Peter's I relax. It's quiet and peaceful, probably the most peaceful place I know. The only thing that breaks the silence is the sound of the occassional tractor or the singing of the birds.

St. Scholastica, the former convent where we stay.
I've written previously about retreats and how much I enjoy them. Even if you can't go away, you can still create a mini-retreat for yourself. For some ideas about how to get that retreat feel, even if you stay at home, please click here. For me, a retreat is a way to 'fill the well' of my creativity and a chance to simply think.

I enjoy going for walks and communing with nature while I'm at St. Peter's. I also like to visit the cemetary where monks have been buried as long as there's been a St. Peter's. It's my way of paying my respects. But mostly I'm there to write. And write I did. I finished the first draft of a new novella I'm working on. Yay! I was probably able to complete the novella because I could concentrate solely on the work without the rest of the world interrupting. Not once did I have stop to cook a meal, put laundry in the dryer or take the dog for a walk. Perhaps that's selfish, but I think a writer needs to be selfish once in a while so she can hear the voices in her head clamering to be heard. Every writer needs a little space and time.

Saskatchewan countryside with St. Peter's in the background.

I hope you enjoy my pictures of St. Peter's Abbey. I know whenever I look at them I'll remember friends, good conversations and ideas rushing through my brain! Have you ever gone on a writing retreat? Would you like to if given the chance?

1 comment:

  1. Great photos, Jana! I had such a great time out there, really productive writing, fun conversations - loved it.