- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: New World Library (April 10, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1577315006
- ISBN-13: 978-1577315001
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.5 x 7.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,242,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Writer's Retreat Kit: A Guide for Creative Exploration and Personal Expression Paperback – April 10, 2005
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Author Judy Reeves surveyed about 100 writers about writing retreats during the making of this kit. One of the things she discovered was that writers nearly always believed that a retreat had to involve traveling away from home at least overnight. To this, she answers, "Consider that a writing retreat is not necessarily a place, but a concept. Consider the word retreat not as a noun but as a verb." In other words, retreats surely can involve travel-- but they can also be just as "real" if they occur in your bedroom, backyard, or at a local park or café. What matters more than location is intention.
In that spirit, Judy offers 20 "themed" retreats. Each theme has its own mini-chapter, and the chapters have four sections of ideas: Time Away, Day Retreats, Mini-Retreats, and Retreats at Home. Time away is the "luxury" option, involving at least a few days of travel. A day retreat is 24 hours or less, a mini-retreat is a brief (a couple of hours or less) respite, and a retreat at home is... well, a retreat at home!
In addition to ideas for where to go and what prompts and exercises to try, there are also ideas for what to bring, what to read, what to do when you're not writing, and even a couple of recipes. It's an amazing wellspring of ideas.
There's a slight "New Age" bent to the book, which I enjoyed, but some religious folk may take umbrage to the "Oracles" theme and a few of the more "otherworldly" suggestions. Of course, they can just skip those parts if they choose.
The writing advice is firmly rooted in the Natalie Goldberg/Julia Cameron school of letting the pen guide you and turning off your internal censors. But the craft advice is minimal in this book; its primary focus is on direct suggestions for sparking creativity and getting "in flow."
If you're feeling blocked, or stagnant, or just need to remember why it is you write in the first place, this book may become your best friend. It can help you reconnect with yourself and your love of writing, as well as provide you with inspiration for hundreds of stories. It's also a thoughtful gift for just about any writer in your life.
--Jenna Glatzer, editor in chief of AbsoluteWrite.com and author of The Street-Smart Writer
"The Writer's Retreat Kit" by Judy Reeves is a gem. The attractive kit includes a book and a deck of cards. The prose in the book takes you on a gentle and innovative cruise. Your passage through a variety of expeditions teaches you alternatives to "traditional" retreats. Each theme offers four options and suggestions for additional nourishment. The work also provides exercises along with ideas for starting and ending ceremonies. The cards can be pulled for inspiration or direction, too. The combinations are endless.
Judy Reeves is a talented author who is a muse to writers all over the globe. In addition to contributing great and innovative programs for the writing community in San Diego, Judy was one of the first guest speakers and authors hosted by my Alliance of Writers. She blessed me by writing about the group in her, "Writing Along, Writing Together."
If you need a gift for a writer--or are a writer looking for something innovative and fresh--this is a winner!