This pandemic has not been kind to my writing. My wife and I live in a small townhome condominium so we have limited space. And when my oldest child had to move in after losing a job just before the pandemic, we had even less space. To top it off, my day job moved to remote work and my writing space became my work space. Being there all day for work killed any desire to be in that room at night to get some writing done.
The kid finally moved out, but work-from-home will be the default for the day job for the foreseeable future. When I heard about a three-day June writer’s retreat inside Capitol Reef National Park in Southern Utah, I was all-in.
If you’re not familiar with a writing retreat, they are magical. Words seem to naturally migrate from brain to fingertips to keyboard. It’s several days designed to mostly writing. Some offer optional classes, critiques, goal setting, and other things. This one did have classes, which I mostly passed on because I wanted to write. And I did.
It also helped that we were off the grid. 100% off. The location is a remote area of the park that is owned by the National Park Service, but run by Utah Valley University. There is no cell service. No wi-fi. All the electricity is solar generated on-site. All the water comes from a well and then processed with an on-site water purification plant. They compost. They even measured water usage and weighed trash to determine our impact on the environment.
Magic happened. Many words were written. Huge progress on the novel was made. Fantastic input was accepted. New friends were made. And I revisited the amazing scenery of Capitol Reef that I last saw way back when I was in high school.
If you are a writer, I encourage you to find a writing retreat in your area. Just get away for a few days.