A Writing Haven: Leeds Writing Retreat

Good Morning. Today I am excited to bring you the downlow on a one-day writing retreat I recently attended. I was so overwhelmed and grateful when I won a position on a writing retreat of my choice through Writer’s HQ. I have been a follower of Writer’s HQ for a few years now and they have a range of amazingly helpful writing tips and tricks, they run courses and host retreats around the U.K.

Leeds was the closest one to me despite the travel taking over 2 hours each way (we really need someone to host one near Middlesbrough) but it was well worth it.

Let’s Talk About The Day

The retreat was from 10am until 4pm so a good solid 6 hours. I have never been to one before so I didn’t know what to expect and for those who are going on their first one, I would advise you to strengthen your bladder with some pelvic floor exercises because you will never drink so much tea and coffee in your life, and while at it you should scrap the diet because there are cakes and pastries a plenty.

All refreshments are included in the retreat and you get plenty of refueling breaks, which are necessary.

The day basically goes like this. You take part in writing sprints, each one lasting longer, starting with 20 mins. Beforehand you discuss your goals for the day, whether that is to write, edit, organise, whatever you want to get done. During the day after each sprint you refuel and discuss how you are going with your goal. You make mini goals for each session with an overall one for the day.

You are surrounded by others just like you and it is a great way to be inspired and realise you aren’t alone. Having it at a set location is brilliant, no writer’s guilt for the day!

Location, Location, Location!

Now let’s talk location. The Leed’s one was held at the Industrial Museum in Leeds, this is about a 10 minute taxi ride from the train station and situated along the canel.

Well, I could not have asked for a more inspiring place to be. I was surrounded by beauty. It is a working museum but we were tucked into a room out of the way and it was a great way to get out of yourself and go for a walk during your breaks. It was a rainy day but that just added to the atmosphere for me, it felt like the perfect place to write. I probably felt it more as it suited the style of my current writing piece so I felt so absorbed in what I was doing.

I would recommend this place to anyone who loves history as well as writing.

My goal for the day was 2000 words. I hadn’t written much since Camp NaNo in April and really wanted to overcome my block. I ended up writing over 5000 words and was amazing at how easily my words flowed.

These retreats are £37 for the day and in my opinion worth every penny. As writer’s we often struggle to take ourselves seriously and view it as a priority so days like this are perfect.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

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