A sheltered community

Last Sunday I hosted another group of writers working on a diverse range of projects – a conference paper, a funding application, novels, short stories… It was wonderful to listen to busy keyboards and pages turning as they worked.

The positive feedback I’ve received so far has two consistent themes: it’s motivating to be around other writers; and it’s amazing how productive you can be in a day.

While procrastinating yesterday I was thinking about this and started looking up other words to describe what’s evolving out of WriteSpace Retreat. Looking for definitions and synonyms I found:

“a quiet or secluded place in which one can rest and relax; a period or place of seclusion for the purposes of prayer and meditation” (retreat)

“a self-organised network of people with a common agenda, cause or interest.” (community)

And that’s what I’m trying to create – a place where people who love words, both writing and reading them, come together, enjoy being looked after, chat over lunch and feel that meditative benefit of giving yourself time to do something you are passionate about.


Getting ready…

Sunday is the next WriteSpace Retreat – the forecast is for cold and wet weather, perfect writing conditions.

I’ve baked the ginger kisses, packed the Gewurzhaus tea and the specialty blend coffee, the fruit loaves will be baked tomorrow and I’ll be making a big pot of soup. We’re ready for another productive day.

As well as looking after Melbourne writers I have a series on my personal blog where I meet writers in cafes (or convents or whisky bars…). It’s called ‘Words Out: plotting Melbourne’s future literary map’ and my latest, and very entertaining, conversation was with Paddy O’Reilly. It happened to be on the day her latest collection of short stories was released, so I’ve added that to the reading collection for my WriteSpace Retreat writers.


Not weird…yet

Irma Gold has posted two hilarious articles on the weird and wonderful places where writers write – at the Australian Open, on toilet rolls in the school car park, in trees and the snow and a lot of hospital wards. She’s confirmed it: writers are weird.

At WriteSpace Retreat I can’t compete with these exotic or emergency surrounds. I can offer you space, light, plenty of food and good coffee and an environment that is all about productivity.

If you’re looking to try out a new place to write that doesn’t require surgery, blizzards, babies or police stations, there’s still a few chairs available on Sunday 26th July. And this time there’ll also be home-baked ginger kisses.

It’s not weird, yet, but I’m open to looking at more venue options for the WriteSpace Retreat 5-year plan.

My weird place to write

My writing in the shower