Blog by Toby Welch

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Find Writing Time

Robert Runte, a development editor, is one of those writers who needs big blocks of time to write in. He can do editing and other writing tasks here and there but first drafts of his work require uninterrupted time to develop his train of thought. Runte has found that the only solution for him is to go on a retreat a couple times a year to write. He and his wife found an alternative that works for them, “I was hemming and hawing over whether to attend a particular well-established writers’ retreat. The timing wasn’t quite right and there was going to be a workshop leader and I really just wanted time to myself, not instruction. When I mentioned the $3,500 price tag, my wife joked that she could book me on a cruise for much less. And then we thought—why not? She was able to find a repositioning cruise (where tickets are heavily discounted because the ship is moving between one itinerary to the next) that would give me a tiny inside cabin for $600. Nobody wants to cruise in an inside cabin on a null itinerary, but as a writers’ retreat it is pure genius! The cost of phone and internet contact is prohibitive, so one is essentially cut off completely from family and work distractions. When one needs to pace, one can emerge from one’s cabin to lope around the jogging track; when one is hungry, the food is better than any writers’ retreat I’ve ever attended. And when you do take a short break from writing, a team of stewards descend on your room to clean it! Even adding airfare to the cost, the total is much less than other writers’ retreats.”