What writers want: a place of retreat

Last Christmas, I was struggling to find the inspiration to write.  The local cafe I frequently haunted was becoming busier every week, and then they changed the furniture around so that instead of being able to look outside and observe the minutia of life on the High Street, I was forced to face the cake and pastry display (which was, of course, incredibly distracting!). 

Back at home, my neighbour and I had tired of making eye contact from our repective kitchens: we both put up curtains a week apart.  My seat was uncomfortable and wobbly, and there always seemed to be an endless pile of washing to be attacked. 

In short, I was losing motivation to keep working on the novel I’d researched and planned for five months.  And all before I’d reached Chapter 3!

The solution was a retreat: a place far away from the familiar house and high street where I could be looked after while I spent time simply writing.  I ended up in Sheepwash, a tiny cluster of houses serviced by one local pub and a corner store that’s only open a few hours a day.  I was doubly blessed when levels of snow never before seen in the area trapped me in the house and prevented me from exploring the local woods and rivers.  I left with more than 10 000 words.

Two months later, I feel that familiar sense of ‘writer’s block’ as I sit at my desk to write.  Lately, I don’t even get as far as sitting at the desk!   I need to be inspired!  I need support and encouragement! I want warm lentil soup and a room with a view.  And so, I’ve decided to forsake the Royal Wedding in April and head back to Sheepwash to get my next 10 000 words.

Retreats for You, in Sheepwash, is run by journalist Deborah Dooley in her charming thatched house.  She supplies homecooked meals, a huge log fire in the colder months, and the peace and quiet to get your writing done.


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