Are you ready for a writing retreat?
By Alicia de los Reyes
Writers, unlike people with normal hobbies, have a lot of doubt about whether or not they are qualified to take on the title. I’ve written about this before in a more serious vein for We Heart Writing (When To Say You’re A Writer). But there are a few proven indicators that you’re a writer, whether or not you think of yourself as one: sweaty palms when you hear the words “writer’s block,” a tendency to zone out when you see the perfect setting for a story. Take this fun quiz to find out if you’re a writer. ♥
1. You’re packing for a trip. What is the one item you would *never* forget?
b. A notebook and pen.
c. Um … toothbrush?
2. You’re on vacation: lying in a hammock, umbrella drink in hand, sand between your toes. What do you find yourself thinking about?
a. Hmm, wonder what I should read next…
b. Man, this place would make a great setting for a story.
c. Thinking? Why are we thinking? This is vacation, right?
3. When you clean your room or office, you inevitably find…
a. That one @#$#@$ library book you forgot to return.
b. About twenty scraps of paper with half-finished story ideas.
c. Dust bunnies.
4. Your bookshelf is filled with…
a. ALL THE BOOKS.
b. All the books … and a bunch of writing guides.
c. Knick knacks.
5. An empty page means…
a. Promise! Words might be there soon!
b. Ahh, is this writer’s block? Help! Help!
c. I clicked on the wrong link.
6. After a night on the town, what do you feel most guilty about?
a. How terrible your head feels. You were planning to finish a couple of books and finally start sketching out that story.
b. Imagining what your word count would have been if you spent the night writing.
c. Stealing someone’s cab.
7. Friends might be surprised to find out that you…
a. Keep a book blog.
b. Have a secret diary.
c. Don’t actually like Downton Abbey. What’s the big deal?
8. What habit of yours most annoys your roommate/significant other?
a. The way you reply “Mm-hmm” when you don’t want to stop reading.
b. The way you randomly stare out the window when you get an idea for a story.
c. Not doing the dishes.
9. Confession time: last year, you…
a. Signed up for Nanowrimo but didn’t finish.
b. Signed up for Nanowrimo and won!
c. Heard someone say “Nanowrimo” and wondered if tamagotchis were back.
10. Your biggest fear is…
a. Getting stuck on the subway without a book.
b. Writer’s block. Let’s not even say those words.
c. The zombie apocalypse.
Results: If you answered mostly Bs, great news! You’re a writer.
If you answered mostly As, guess what? You might be a writer. Have you tried writing? I bet you would be great at it!
If you answered mostly Cs, perhaps the best news: you’re normal!
Being a writer means you spend a lot of time reading and writing — or, when life happens, thinking about reading and writing. Setting aside time to actually start (or finish) the novel you’ve been working on can be tricky when you’re balancing life, work, and family.
Being crunched for time is exactly why I created Your DIY Writing Retreat e-course (based on my ebook, DIY Writing Retreat). It’s hard to balance work, free time, and writing. Writers need structure; it frees us up to write!
Your DIY Writing Retreat teaches you how to get away for a weekend (or even just an afternoon!) to work on the project you’ve been dreaming of. In eight e-mail lessons, you’ll figure out where to go, how to get there, how long to spend away (with schedules for an afternoon, day, and weekend-long retreat), plus what to write, do, and eat while you’re retreating. It includes everything a “real” writing retreat has: a work/break schedule right down to the minute, writing prompts and reflections to help you get un-stuck, plus meal plans that take all the thought out of everything besides writing.
It gives you the structure of a writing retreat without making you write a time-consuming application and drop a chunk of change on airfare and accommodation. You get the benefits of a retreat—time and headspace to write — without the hoop-jumping and fear that you’re wasting a ton of time and money.
For less than the cost of a fancy writing retreat application fee, you will get a guide chock full with printables you can use again and again to find the time to write. Whether you’re a mom, a workaholic, or just busy, Your DIY Writing Retreat e-course will force you to find time to write and guide you through a retreat tailor-made for you.
Your DIY Writing Retreat e-course is available here in my shop — and for We Heart Writing readers, it’s only $29! Just use code IHEARTWRITING to get your discount.
Alicia de los Reyes is the Seattle-based author of DIY Chick Lit: A Writing Guide and DIY Writing Retreat: A Guide to Getting Away. She is working on a non-fiction book about a year in an evangelical church. Find more of her writing at aliciadelosreyes.com.