Writing is a tough job. Sometimes a change of scenery is the only way to get productive, and this is why writers retreats have long been a useful tool for wordsmiths. If you need to escape from your everyday rut and refresh your creativity, a stay in a bed and breakfast is a great way to jumpstart your writing engine.
Why You Might Need To Get Away
Although getting serious about writing involves cultivating the ability to write anywhere at any time, certain parts of the job are more demanding than others. If you’re laying the groundwork for a new story, polishing a piece to bring out its inner greatness, or working hard to meet a deadline, it pays to find a writing environment that offers you minimal distractions.
Sealing yourself off in your home isn’t really a workable option. It’s much better to find a space that’s new but welcoming. Here you can concentrate on your work to the exclusion of outside influences. This is in stark contrast to a professionally organized writers retreat. The type of retreat we’re talking about is one that can help you isolate your own ideas and can also land you in a powerfully inspirational setting that will have a positive effect on your writing.
Writers love to use a stay at a bed and breakfast for a number of different reasons, but one of the most important is staying with hosts who are accommodating to their needs. Good B&B hosts offer a level of personalized service that ordinary hotels (even the very best of them) simply cannot match.
Whether you like a certain amount of daily interaction with other people when you’re writing or need absolute isolation, a good bed and breakfast should be able to meet your needs. B&B hosts are also excellent about fulfilling any special requests you have to make your retreat more productive. A full-service B&B (one which provides all of your meals) is also desirable for a writer, as it frees up more of your time for the business of writing.
Of course, bed and breakfast operators haven’t overlooked the appeal that their services have to writers. You won’t go very far in hunting for a B&B for a retreat before turning up dozens of rooms and homes expressly marketed to writers. While you have to take some of these offerings with a grain of salt (see below), some writing-focused B&Bs offer you terrific opportunities.
You might try a stay in a historically-meaningful room, like the studio at Thoreau Farm. Here you can exercise your craft under the same roof that sheltered Henry David Thoreau as a child. Other writer-friendly B&Bs offer specialized amenities like libraries, literary tours, and even (in some cases) writing mentors. Many of the best writers retreats are collaborative, offering you the opportunity to stay with, and learn from, other writers.
Picking A Bed And Breakfast
As noted above, not all bed and breakfasts that market themselves to writers are created equal. You should review the offerings of any B&B carefully to confirm that it’s a good fit for your needs. Additionally, make sure you compare the pricing and features of a “writer’s” B&B to other accommodations in the area. You may be paying a significant markup for extras that won’t really help you.
As with many services, one of the best ways to get a feel for a bed and breakfast is by reading reviews from past guests. In the case of a dedicated writers retreat, you can pursue this line of inquiry from two directions. All of the usual sites which review ordinary accommodations are available to you. You can also learn more by poking around in online writers’ communities. This can help you find new options as well as teach you more about B&Bs you’re already considering.
Depending on your tastes, the perfect writers retreat for you might be monastically isolated or vibrantly busy. Whatever helps you write is worth looking into. You’ll find a range of different options in the bed and breakfast market that can meet almost any need, and picking the right place for your retreat can dramatically improve your productivity.