Before we had kids, my husband and I would go up to his family's cabin in February or March for an ice fishing weekend.
This meant using an outhouse and boiling snow for cooking water, huddling in a blanket and fuzzy socks next to the space heater, and carrying our things through what was often more than a foot of snow up an unplowed, hilly driveway.
It was glorious. Because ice fishing weekend meant my husband would ice fish while I sat in the cabin in blessed, glorious, non-wifi-connected silence.
I typically got a lot of writing done, not to mention plenty of reading. Though I never called it this at the time, I realized that those weekends were my version of a creative retreat.
Spending a full weekend on creative work feels nearly impossible nowadays, and I know I'm not alone in that. We've got little kids or full-time jobs or financial limitations or all of the above. It's hard to justify time spent on purely creative things when you've got a million other responsibilities on your plate. But I still think taking a creative retreat is important.
No one else is ever going to prioritize your creativity for you.
A creative retreat is not only your chance to spend time recharging and doing something you enjoy, it's also your chance to tell the world, "Hey, this is important to me. This thing I do just because I love it is worth it, and I'm going to start treating it that way."
Creative retreats don't have to be some big mountaintop experience (though wouldn't we all love if they were?). A creative retreat could be
- spending two days in a row at the library with your notebook and a pen
- an afternoon at your favorite park with a sketchbook
- a calligraphy workshop you've always wanted to take
- letting your spouse get up with the kids so you can spend the morning in bed teasing out an essay idea or doodling in your journal
Creative retreats are accessible to you if you keep an open mind about what that looks like. Listen in to this week's Chasing Creative episode for ideas on planning a practical creative retreat that fits your lifestyle. You also won't want to miss our season one episode when we interviewed Jennie Moraitis on taking a mini creative retreat.
What would your ideal creative retreat look like?