So last week, Tim Raveling was here to let us know the what, where, and why of writing residencies. There are definitely a lot of options, but imo, one of the best destination writing retreats to attend is one where Angela Ackerman is speaking. I know, I know. Sounds like a pipe dream. But…Ange is going to be speaking at an amazing retreat coming up—one that has the word CRUISING in the title. Can you believe it? Well, read on, naysayers, because Christina Delay is here to share (in her own personal and beautifully snarky way) about this opportunity.
You’ll hear from loads of people why you should travel and go on writing retreats. There are lists, like The Case for Writing and Travel, that say why travel is super-important to writing. But there’s another side to this story. I’m here to reveal to you why you should never, ever go on a destination writing retreat. Especially not a Cruising Writers Writing Retreat.
Your Comfort Zone Will Be Tested
Leaving the cozy space of our comfort zone and traveling by plane, train, or cruise ship has the same feeling as starting a new school or a new job. Wouldn’t it be easier to stay at home, doing the safe thing and living within the known and explored shelter we’ve built for ourselves?
Because if we leave that comfort zone, the one that we know every nook and cranny of, we’ll have to enter a new space. A space where our comfort zone is not allowed.
There will be a different culture there in that space, maybe a different language. The food may not be what we’re used to. And the experiences we come across may not be what we expect. Surprises most certainly await us, if not around every corner, then at each new cruise port or country.
It’s definitely safer to stay at home, surrounded by the sounds and smells that we’ve known for years. Never mind that creativity is driven by new experiences and fresh senses. Is that burst of creativity and unlocking of the elusive muse really worth the leap into the unknown?
“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher
It’s been proven that change is one of the scariest things out there. And it’s also a fact that travel changes us. We cannot come home the same person again. Once a thing has been seen or heard or experienced, it cannot be undone. Traveling will broaden your world perspective.
Not only that, but your writing will change when traveling with Cruising Writers on a writing retreat. It will be influenced by world-renowned craft teachers like Lisa Cron, Angela Ackerman, and Margie Lawson. You will grow your writing tribe by meeting other retreaters who, like you, have bravely left their comfort zone. And you may make lifelong friends or add a new critique partner to your repertoire.
So if what you’re wanting is for everything to stay status quo, a destination writing retreat is the last thing you should do.
Old Ideas Will Be Challenged
On a writing retreat, you’ll be introduced to new writing craft tools that may challenge what you’ve used in the past. Marketing strategies from bestselling authors that are contrary to what you’ve tried may be tossed around.
With Cruising Writers First Pages Readings, an editor and an agent will challenge your first page, telling you what works and what doesn’t…and it may lead to revisions that you had never before considered. Brainstorming is also a common side effect of getting together with a group of writers. New ideas and plot problems are tossed around and worked out.
But all of that takes courage to face and to participate in. If you like your old ideas, your same-ole way of doing things, and your current marketing tactics, then never, ever go on a destination writing retreat.
Your Writing Career May Never Be the Same
Going on a writing retreat will open you up to new career opportunities and new professional connections. It could be the link that you need to take your career to the next level.
There’s that whole fear of success thing a lot of us have. And if that’s you, certainly NEVER, EVER go on a writing retreat. Because you will be exposed to influential people who are serious about writing, and they will remember you.
At Cruising Writers, our retreats are kept small on purpose so you have the opportunity to make lasting connections. Because of this, you may develop a relationship with the agent and editor that travel with us; on our September cruise, that will be Michelle Grajkowski (agent and president of Three Seas Literary) and Deb Werskman (editor with Sourcebooks). More than a pitch session, you’ll see them every night at dinner, possibly on shore excursions, in workshops, at the spa, on the walking deck, at the casino, etc. And with less than 30 other writers on the trip, you’ll have to talk to them before you pitch to them.
“Cruising Writers is an amazing opportunity to improve your craft with top-notch teaching sessions. The small group format allows you to get to know your fellow authors as well as the guest speakers, editors, and agents. Through the contacts I made on this cruise, I was able to sign with a well-respected agency that I had on my wish list for several years. Go. Take the cruise. You won’t be disappointed.” – Vicki Tharp, Author
If you’re not ready to launch your career or take the next step on your writing journey, then stay in your comfort zone. You won’t be disappointed.
But neither will you grow or be surprised.
Christina Delay is the hostess of Cruising Writers and an award-winning author represented by Deidre Knight of The Knight Agency. When she’s not cruising the Caribbean, she’s dreaming up new writing retreats to take talented authors on or writing the stories of the imaginary people that live in her heart.
Cruising Writers brings aspiring authors together with bestselling authors, an agent, an editor, and a world-renowned writing craft instructor together on writing retreats. Cruise with us to Grand Cayman this September with Lisa Cron (author, Wired for Story and Story Genius), Angela Ackerman (co-author, The Emotion Thesaurus), Michelle Grajkowski (agent, Three Seas Literary), and Deb Werksman (editor, Sourcebooks).
Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling.