Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Writing Retreats and Happy Places


I just read an article that got me thinking about writing retreats and mental vacations (hey, no comments about absent minds ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). It’s about happy places and why people consider those locales their very own Happy Place. Which just led me to think about writing retreats, including DIY writing retreats (great post here).

Which leads me to think about my own DIY writing retreat (pay no attention to the Muse laughing in the background). Living out in the country, about a mile and a half outside a small rural farming community, is nice in the respect that there’s less “urban noise”, and more greenery. On the other hand, not having a good office to myself for writing is something I’ve learned to deal with, and the reason I turn a nice shade of green when I hear about my writing friends spending hours in their office. With a “Do Not Disturb” note on the door (which, I understand, cats have a peculiar way of ignoring).

I have an opportunity to acquire a nice-sized (15′ x 8′) playhouse someone is selling. It’s 2×4 construction, with siding and two windows and enough room for an overnight siesta. Oh, to have a writing shack! We’d have to tuck it into the edge of the grove, yet close enough to the house so distance isn’t an excuse to avoid the trek. So why hesitate? My other half is known to absorb storage space like a thirsty sponge. The 15×8 space might just be too much of a temptation to put stuff there. Oh, and the $. It’s a reasonable price considering the size and construction, but I happened to come into very close contact with a deer this winter, so we need to replace/repair that vehicle.

Still, sooo tempting. And the seller has equipment to move it. And it’s just on the other side of town. So I’m rereading the DIY writing retreat article and writing my pro/con list. I wonder if I could deduct it as an expense on next year’s taxes…

Are you fortunate enough to have a place of your own to write, where it’s your territory? Is it an office? Writing shack? Rapunzel tower (my hubby promised me one of these, but I suspect my hair will be as long as hers before I get it)? Do you head to a hotel for a weekend when you really need to focus on getting those 20,000 words done? Another author I follow has a writing cabin complete with helipad (though I suspect that’s more happy place than real place)(Hope you don’t mind the mention, Craig). Maybe the real question is: does your Muse has his/her own room in your writing space?

Speaking of my Muse, he eased up when I told him I needed to finish revisions on another WIP before we got too deep into brainstorming. Right now he’s kicked back in the corner pretending he’s dozing, but he’s got my notebook and pencil at the ready.

May you enjoy a writing space that doubles as your happy space!


Oh, BTW, my writing teacher’s third book in her Door County series,ย Five-Alarm Fudge, is released today! Way to go, Chris!


Author: Julie Holmes, author

Pen names: J. M. Holmes, J. M. Goebel A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for a decade, I've been published in small press magazines such as "Fighting Chance" and "The Galactic Citizen". I write adult mystery with a touch of romance, mystery with extrasensory elements, contemporary fantasy, and epic fantasy, and I'm represented by the fabulous Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services. In real life, I am a technical writer with a family of two teens, a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, two chickens, and more chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits than any garden should have to deal with. My garden, our hobby farm, and Nature's annual seasons are some of my muses.

9 thoughts on “Writing Retreats and Happy Places

  1. That’s awesome. The writing cabin is a state of mind. I can lug my iPad wherever I like.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, that would be lovely to have a dedicated writing space, but I’m happy right now just to have a dedicated writing time–AKA the munchkin’s nap time. The second she’s asleep, all other work is put on hold and I write. I don’t know what I’m going to do when she decides she doesn’t need naps anymore!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, yes, I remember those days. I stopped calling it “nap” time, and started calling it “quiet” time. My rule is the kids can go upstairs (to their rooms) or outside, but they have to be quiet for an hour. They can do whatever they want (within reason, of course!) as long as they’re quiet. Then I write. My kids are 17 and 14, and I still enforce quiet time. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I also get up an hour before they’re allowed to come downstairs in the morning (they can be up, just not downstairs where I am) to write. Of course, it always works better when I’ve actually gotten some sleep! Good luck!


  3. I have a room over my husband’s workshop. I painted it in jewel tones and I have stones and shells I’ve collected. I open the windows and hummingbirds come in and hover over my head. The wall hum because they are full of honey bees. The only thing I don’t like about it is the bat poop from my latest roommate:)

    Liked by 1 person

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