The Dream Writing Retreat


You know, there’s this meme going around on Facebook… It’s a photo of a sweet little cabin in the middle of the snowy woods, with the words “Would you stay here for one month–no internet, no phone, no contact with the outside world–for $100,000.00?”
Wait! Here it is:
My response?
A dozen times over!
That place is almost perfect for me! Surrounded by mountains for days on end? You betcha, baby! Who cares about the money?
(Well, I wouldn’t say no to the cash… That’d be plain idiotic.)
So that got me thinking about my…

Perfect Dream Writing Retreat

Just as in the picture above, it would be a mountain cabin with a solid roof, stocked with food, water and firewood. (Hopefully there’s an outhouse!)
I spent my youth in the Rocky Mountains and can remember discovering a pissed off badger while picking wild huckleberries. I’d go fishing and camping, play in snow that was higher than my head. I recall seeing a small brown bear run like the dickens when our jeep came around the corner and startled him.
I might be a city girl now, but that was home to me.
I think a month of solitude in this cabin would be mighty fine.
After that month was up, I’d come out of the mountains, hit a cyber-cafe to catch up with business and update the websites before heading back into the hinterlands for another thirty days of it.
Blissful sigh.

Absolute Necessities

The meme states that the cabin is stocked with food, water and firewood. That’s one less headache, right? Electrical power is a must as well. I’d be bringing my laptop along for writing.
And in the interest of not breaking the letter of the agreement, there’d be no videos on the computer! I wouldn’t need them…my writing tends toward seeing the scenes in my head. Much better entertainment and reception!
A hefty set of bookshelves or two in the cabin wouldn’t be amiss either! If I can’t access the internet I’ll need to haul a lot of research books up into the hills.
(Which reminds me–during my monthly breaks, I’ll have to hit every major bookstore for more!)
It’s kind of funny…according to the meme I’ll make a hundred thousand dollars in a month, but living there would mean that I wouldn’t be shopping all that much.
Heck, by the end of the year I could afford to buy the place outright!

What About You?

What do you consider your ideal retreat, writing or otherwise?
My wife would probably be on the Oregon coast with a huge picture window facing west so she could sit and watch the ocean for hours.
My BFF might be up in Seattle, enjoying the cool weather and fresh air.
Ocean or mountain? Desert or oasis? Europe? South America? What place appeals to your very soul?


  1. I love writing retreats. There’s nothing like devoting an entire week to your writing while in a beautiful setting. Im going to Cornwall for one in a few weeks. And then I’m running two in the autumn at women’s resorts–Bambu Resort in Spain (Oct, desert, mountains and sea) and Over The Rainbow in Wales (Nov, pastures, hills, sea).

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  2. Jordon, I must admit this looks like heaven to me too, and all you wrote about the Rocky Mountains is like it came from my words…But it can be real. All but the $100,000 part. I applied to Hedgebrook, a women’s writing residency program and had a month of bliss. is the site. They absolutely take care of you, supply all the food, a place to wash your clothes and bathe, and each of 6 women have their own cottage with electricity, bathroom, comfortable chair and desk. And it is gift. There is no charge, to put it even plainer. It is located on Whidby Island in Puget Sound near Seattle. There is a new application due out soon.
    Good luck to you,
    Franci McMahon


  3. I am building a writers retreat. In the house next to mine in Eressos, Greece. I restored it from bare brick up. It will be small and snug with a secret terrace and views down the valley to the sea. I love writing here and have done so since 2007 and I decided I wanted others to share the experience, too. There ar a lot of writers and artists here. It’s a lovely community.


  4. My best writing retreat ever was actually a choir tour. It was August, and we stayed at a private boarding school in a village in Somerset. My partner couldn’t make it, so I had a whole twin dorm to myself: two beds, two desks, two wardrobes, two massive pinboards. I was able to spread all my notes (including a timeline written across five or six sheets of A3 paper) out all over the room. There was a kitchen downstairs to make tea. I had my ancient laptop, which, while it was theoretically capable of connecting to the internet, was effectively an electronic typewriter. I restructured half the plot in that week; it was brilliant.

    The only disadvantage was, it was about ten miles from the cathedral where we were doing most of the singing, so we tended to leave at 9am and not come back until 8 or 9 at night. Still, I got lots of writing done in cafés and pubs around the city in between rehearsals.


  5. I will leave a comment to this. Unreservedly yes…a RESOUNDING YES to staying there for a month with food, water, and firewood. I would disagree with you though. Electricity is NOT a must. This is a time to go back to the simple things in life. No laptops. Bring reams of paper and pencils, pens, whatever it is you want to write on and do it that way. Having electricity and laptop defeats the purpose. So….Jordan…would you still do it? I certainly would. 🙂


  6. I’m sorry to have to say that my ideal writing retreat would be with your wife, Red. I do love looking at the ocean.


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