Usually it starts like most things do. First as a distant idea, then maybe dismissed as a pipe dream or a passing fancy until it reemerges as a spark that lights a question:
That’s the question from which most WOW manifestations are born. We wonder quietly inside ourselves then we raise the question out loud to hear how it sounds.
What if Dulcie and Regina met up in Iceland?
What about doing a retreat on a colorful, sandbar island in Mexico?
What if we went to a tiny Mediterranean island in Italy?
Yes please, to all the above.
One of the most thrilling parts about what we do is discovering the magic as it emerges when we start tinkering with ideas. Whether it’s in locating the perfect retreat accommodation, designing the content for the week or fashioning a webpage around what we’re doing, conjuring is definitely one of our favorite pastimes. The biggest thrill, though, is when people say yes to our yes. When strangers who’ve never even met us are brave enough to join us in our willy-nilly, wild writing adventures.
So much of what goes into the making of our retreats is about what we want for our own Writer Within. We think of all the things we consider ideal or essential to our writing practice and we go out and see where we might find them. We love evocative views, sky and nature in abundance, being outdoors, the sense of being ‘remote’ yet without too much travel hassle. And usually, where we end up has a bit of cultural mystique, like our Italian and Marrakech retreats.
Oftentimes, we don’t have to go out searching too hard; retreat locations find us. Like when Nancy and Dulcie were on vacation in Isla Holbox a few years ago or when Regina was traveling with her family in Marrakech this past February. We find ourselves falling in love with a setting and wish our way back so we can re-experience a place in the company of other writers. We want to experience a place as artists, not just tourists.
So, aside from the obvious, why do we do all this? Besides wanting to write out in the world, we believe in the power of writing and the creative process. We believe that the practice and process of writing are as important and relevant as the end result it. Whether that result is just to get it out on the page and out of the body or to create a polished, finished piece, we want to make space for people to feel supported and encouraged to write whatever emerges. We believe that when the urge to write arises, it’s because there’s the need for whatever comes to be written, to be outside of us, in whatever form.
We are excitedly mapping out much of 2019. Just this past weekend Nancy and Dulcie checked out a coastal gem, an old Inn in Boothbay Harbor, Maine as a potential location for June 2019. And next month the women of WOW are all headed to Walloon Lake in Michigan. We hear Hemingway liked it, so we probably will too. We hope to scout out the perfect place for you to fill your pages and ignite your writerly spirits.
Of course there will always be Tuscany (and by the way, there are a few spots still available for this year), then there’s Marrakech in November and next March there’s two weeks to choose from in Isla Holbox. And for those of you who are interested in US retreats, we’ve got a few more ‘what ifs’ brewing. So stay tuned and keep writing.
The WOW tribe