Lit Life

Create Your Own At-Home Writing Retreat

“In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.”
-Albert Camus

Going out into the world and finding inspiration is one of the best ways to jumpstart your writing. In order to capture life and its struggles, you must live it first. However, life so often gets in the way of actually taking the time to sit down and do the work of writing.

So, like me, you may feel compelled to get away from the world for a while.

It’s the perfect time of year to rent a house by the lake and cloister yourself in it in order to get some serious writing done. The waves lapping outside the flung open window, the gulls calling, the words flowing from your fingers onto the page. Or perhaps renting a cabin in the middle of the woods Thoreau-style is more your speed. The sounds of animal life all around you, the sunshine glinting through the canopy of trees, you hiking through the forest with a notebook in hand and all that glorious nature to inspire you.

However, these fantasies commonly cost money (unless you have a nice friend with a lake house just itching to give you a writing oasis…anyone?). I’ve looked into it, and going to a traditional writing retreat can cost you anywhere between $400-2,000 dollars if you’re not careful. If you have that kind of money just hanging around, by all means, take that trip, recharge your writing batteries, make me super jealous.

So what are we writers to do? Dip into our savings and leave our families and friends behind for a week? Just go through the daily grind over and over until we feel no more affection for the world and its plights?

No, dear readers. There’s another way. Today, I want to give you some ideas on how to create your own luxurious writing retreat without ever leaving your house. This suggestion is based off of a day I planned for me and my friend Meryl after she told me she wanted to start writing again. I had just started my novel and was energized to continue my progress. So, I created an at-home writing retreat based off of three personal writing fantasies—imaginary scenarios and locations in which I’ve always wanted to write to really “feel like a proper writer.”

The Set-Up


For each writing fantasy, I created an immersive experience. I figured that switching from fantasy to fantasy would add variety to the retreat and fuel us to keep writing. I wanted to feel transformed with each switch so I tried to cover as many of the senses as I could. Plus, I really wanted to make an itinerary for the day to make it feel more official. For each fantasy I chose the following:

  • Muses: Authors we could channel for inspiration as we wrote
  • Sounds: Pandora radio stations we would listen to in order to get us in the mood
  • Aromas: Candles I would burn during that allotted time
  • Tastes: Snacks we would have, because snacks
  • Imbibements: Drinks we would make and sip as we wrote

writing retreat.JPG


Download our original Writing Retreat Itinerary.

Writing Fantasy #1: The Cottage Dweller

Imagine a delicate, British garden filled with white, purple, and pink lacy flowers. Wooden benches line the crooked cobblestone walkways and make perfect resting places to write by the quaint water feature in the center of the garden. This image was the inspiration for this part of our at-home writing retreat. We started out by writing goals for ourselves for the day, and allowed ourselves to get lost in the little writing garden we’d made for ourselves in my office.

The Cottage Dweller.JPG

Writing Fantasy #2: The Parisian Expatriate

Imagine a small French cafe nestled along the buzzing Paris streets. The cafe bright with laughter and life even into the wee hours of the champagne filled nights. The Eiffel Tower stands tall along the city skyline, a beacon of inspiration for all the talented writers and artists who migrated to Paris in order to create masterpieces in its shadow. Again, I have some lofty, romantic fantasies when it comes to writing. So, to get into the real meat of our writing day (and to start drinking a bit), I chose to go to Paris next.

Parisian Ex

Writing Fantasy #3: The Modern American

A room lined with leather-bound books of all the works of the great writers who came before. A large wooden desk housing an old typewriter ready to click out new, fresh ideas. A The smell of leather furniture and cigar smoke inspired our final stop on our writing retreat. To end our retreat, I decided to draw upon the robust image I have in my head of the serious writers.

Modern American

Now these writing retreats were made for a winter retreat. So, I have a couple to add now that we are in the middle of summer.

Writing Fantasy #4: The Transcendentalist

the transcendentalist
Writing Fantasy #5: The Seaside Scribe

seaside scribe

What are some ways you like to escape while you are writing at home? What other ideas do you have for at-home writing retreats? Comment Below!

Lit & Love,

Amy Signature

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Freewrite Friday: Using Word Sprints to Fuel Your Writing

Writing is Work

Plan Your Next Outdoor Writing Excursion in Cleveland

Where the Arts Collide: Writing at the Cleveland Art Museum

5 Essentials of a Perfect Book Club

4 thoughts on “Create Your Own At-Home Writing Retreat

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