As many of you know, writing is not always easy and it can sometimes be challenging to find the time or space to focus on your writing. That’s where a writing retreat can come in handy. The HTO research group has a long history of arranging writing retreats and this year is no exception. A writing retreat is essentially a dedicated time and place for you to write and last week, people from the HTO research group and people from our networks came together for two full days with the sole purpose to write.

The underlying idea of our writing retreats is that everyone decides for themselves what to write and then we sit together and work on our texts. The key to any writing retreat is that it should take you away from your usual responsibilities and commitments, and it should allow you to focus on your writing. This year, we arranged the retreat in our usual building but booked a room on another floor to help us focus on nothing else but writing. To further increase our potential to be truly productive, we keep to a schedule in which we start by setting writing goals and making plans for the writing we’ll do. This is followed by writing sprints and a few check-ins throughout the day. Of course, this schedule also has plenty of dedicated time for rest and delicious fika.

Besides having time and space to write, the benefits of attending a writing retreat are many. To meet other writers and talk about writing is rewarding in itself and the social pressure of hearing others tap away on their keyboards is quite helpful to get you started with your own writing. The retreat also creates space for reflection on your writing habits and many of us find that it encourages commitment to your writing which hopefully spills over to when you’re not at the retreat. Finally, a writing retreat is really fun and a valuable investment of your time.