My aim is to facilitate your writing and give you the help you need you to fulfil your dream. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside every time a writer walks away from a retreat happy at having overcome procrastination and written a few more thousand words. Having an online community to support writers and where I can hold online retreats is another way of making this happen.
Next online retreat dates: Saturday 9th February 2013.
Scroll to the bottom to just attend one retreat (£18.95) and find out why it’s cheaper to subscribe, or go right ahead and subscribe with one month FREE (£6.95 per month, includes unlimited access to the forum including weekly check-ins, Friday Club and any official online retreats) here:
Boost your wordcount at an online writing retreat
Do you want the support and motivation of a writing retreat but can’t make it to London? Or are you just too lazy to get out of your pyjamas? Well, how about joining an online writing retreat?
I know, it sounds absurd. But it works.
- Before the writing retreat you’ll join our forum, the Writers’ Playground and fill in a goal-setting sheet, just as you would at a regular retreat.
- At 10am everybody logs in and posts an update, saying what they’re going to do in the morning sessions.
- Through the day we have scheduled sessions of around an hour, when you work as hard as you possibly can. During the set breaks you can leave your desk or log in and see how other writers are doing.
- At lunch and at the end of the day, you post your progress and say how far you’ve got with your goals. This checking-in keeps you on track. We finish at 4pm. When you’ve logged your final progress report, go have a nice bath, open the wine or do a cartwheel or two.
It’s not quite the same as being at a regular retreat where you’re in a room of writers and have no internet access. It does require some willpower on your part. You’ll have to let friends and family know that the day is blocked out for your writing. And I can’t make you cake. But knowing that you’re working alongside other people can give you a big motivational push.
I run official online retreats approximately once a month, but members of the forum can create their own whenever they like, so there’s always the ability to get more support. At the moment we have an unofficial but growing Friday Club where writers gather to work alongside each other on a Friday, retreat-style but to your own timetable.
The Forum, and why it’s ace.
One of the nicest things about running writing retreats is getting to talk to you, the writers. But when I’ve asked people about their writing challenges, a lot of people say they struggle to motivate themselves and feel alone. Running the online retreats in a forum means that we can keep our conversations private, and that writers can meet each other and develop a support network.
So if you sign up to be a regular at the online retreats, you’re also signing up to the community. Everything I do aims to help you to do that thing you want to do most in the world, to write. So the forum has a couple of extra tools to help us all on the path.
Oh, and you get a month-long free trial, so hopefully you can test out the online retreat and make sure it’s right for you. If it’s not, you can cancel at any time with no questions asked and still use the forum for any time you’ve paid for, or to the end of your trial.
Weekly progress check-ins
Every Monday we sit down and give ourselves writing goals for the week. These should be achievable and honest, taking into account the time you actually have. Doing this should keep writing in your mind and make you more likely to do it, especially as you’ll come back the next week and say what you got done last week and what’s next. I don’t think you have to beat yourself up to be a writer, so the check-ins are entirely non-judgemental. If you fall off the wagon it’s ok, just get back on the next week.
Where you can chat about writing, share useful tools, and get moral support.
Make your own retreats – you’re in control
Some of our members are freelancers and so have free time during the week. If a couple of people are free, they can organise their own online retreats with other community members using the format I’ve set out. If I’m available I drop in for a spot of cheerleading or to write too. The forum is a tool to help writers, which means giving you the power to help each other and arrange things the way you like whenever possible. So you can do whatever you like in there, whether that’s starting a forum thread or arranging a retreat on a day that suits you.
Why is it so much cheaper to be a member?
Some people will only want to do one online retreat and that’s fine. I charge £18.95 for a single retreat, or £6.95 per month with one month FREE if you subscribe. A single retreat is more expensive for 2 reasons:
1. I want you to complete that manuscript. That will mean that what I’m doing is working and worth it! Committing long-term and using online (or physical) retreats alongside weekly check-ins and having a supportive community is a far more powerful tool than committing just one day to the job. Writing takes consistent effort.
2. It’s a massive pain for me! If people want to come for a day I have to register and unregister them, and quite frankly that’s hassle I can do without. It makes sense for me to put the price of subscribing much lower than it should be in return for saving me admin pain. Because I like to write and I like to feed people biscuits and see them all happy because their writing is progressing but I. Don’t. Like. Admin.
Basically, I believe that the combination of retreats and regular check-ins is the best way of helping you make progress, so I’m happy for you to try it out for free for a month. If it’s not for you, I’d rather you spent that money finding something that works for you.
Join us now – £6.95 a month (flexible, you can cancel without penalty any time – this isn’t a gym!) with one month FREE or £18.95 for a single session.
If you’re based abroad don’t worry, PayPal will do all the hard work for you and work out the exchange rate each month.