Elizabeth Bishop House Puts the Treat in Retreat
I never really bought into the idea of retreats. You can just write a home, I internally scoffed. But now, I'm eating those words.
I'm so grateful to have spent a few days with a writerly friend in the childhood home of Nova Scotian poet, Elizabeth Bishop, this week. We spent the mornings working, headed out for lunchtime excursions, then came back and worked for a couple more hours until dinner. Then we'd drink wine and read our words to each other.
The progress I made was immense. I cut a whopping 10,000 words from my memoir, completed a major restructuring, and began re-writing it from the beginning--getting to page 140 or 250. It was so cool to look through the guestbook at all the other writers who had spent time working on their craft there.Being in a new environment, within those storied walls with a fellow artist gave me a jolt of productivity.
I will always hold these days close to my heart. Now, I understand. There's something to be said for getting away from it all. You can immerse yourself in a way that's not always possible amidst the distractions of day-to-day life. It will be the first of many retreats for me.
Have you been to the Elizabeth Bishop House or participated in another Writing Retreat? Tell me about it in the comments and learn more about the house here!