The Proper Care and Feeding of Writers : Writers Retreat Specials for NHWP Members
The Proper Care and Feeding of Writers
By Jessica Lourey
In 2006, I found myself across my dining room table from a reporter for Minnesota Monthly, a journal with a readership of over 200,000. May Day, my first mystery, had just been published. The reporter wanted to know how I balanced it all—full-time teaching job, single mom of two kids under age 10, writing two books a year.
“As a writer, I have no social life, and I don’t shower on weekends,” I said, joking/not joking.
The reporter laughed. I didn’t hear from her again until she sent me a courtesy copy of the magazine one month later. Turns out I’d landed a full-color, two-page photo spread, me holding my cat, and guess what the headline was?
That was fourteen books ago. I’ve since married, one of those kids has gone off to college, and the other can scavenge for himself when I’ve got a deadline. Yet, I still don’t know how I balance it all, how any of us writers do. I have a hunch, though: I think we jam writing into our life because we need it for our survival, and in so doing, we sacrifice our playtime and self-care because there are only so many hours in the day. Something has got to go.
Like most of you, I can’t yet quit my day job. I also can’t stop writing any more than I can stop using my right arm. But I want the play back in my life, the rejuvenation, the sense of adventure and joy. That’s why this past November, I co-created an organization devoted to offering healing, laughter-filled writing retreats, world-class literary adventures, and healing online novel-writing classes. I wanted to create a space where we could gather as warriors for the arts, make time to create, but also carve out space to relax and reclaim our joy.
Here’s a sampling of what we offer:
Rewrite Your Life
May 12-14, 2017
San Francisco, California
This immersive workshop teaches the writing-fiction-to-heal process I spoke about in a recent TEDx Talk. Transforming your facts into fiction is not only healing, but also it’s secret to supercharging your creative writing, a process I talk more about in my upcoming book, Rewrite Your Life: Discover Your Truth Through the Healing Power of Fiction
Deepen Your Story
June 4-10, 2017
Relax, write, and explore in lush Greece, with a special focus on creating stories that heal you and resonate with others. This retreat is ideal for those who have done some creative writing but want to escape their daily routine for a dedicated, nourishing week of creativity, exploration, and self-compassion.
London Calling: A Literary Adventure
June 25-30, 2017
Perfect for solo women travelers, book clubs, and those who crave purpose-driven vacations, in this Literary Adventure you will explore the rich history of London through the eyes of its most famous authors. This workshop is for women who want to take a transformative journey - one that will focus on exploring an amazing city through the eyes of famous female authors, immersing yourself in great writing, and completing some writing of your own.
See? Playtime. What we do as writers—collect, honor, and create the stories that bind our culture and community—is more important now than ever. But we also must make time for self-care.
I am extending an ongoing 10% discount to all members of New Hampshire Writers’ Project because I value you what you do. The discount extends to all the retreats and classes. You can find out more about the retreats at creativewritingretreat.com and all about the online novel-writing classes at learnhowtowriteabook.org; use code WRITERSREADERS at both to access your 10% NHWP discount.
Jess Lourey (rhymes with "dowry") is best known for her critically-acclaimed Murder-by-Month mysteries, which have earned multiple starred reviews from Library Journal and Booklist, the latter calling her writing "a splendid mix of humor and suspense." Jess also writes sword and sorcery fantasy, edge-of-your-seat YA adventure, and magical realism, literary fiction, and thrillers. She is a tenured professor of creative writing and sociology, a recipient of The Loft's 2014 Excellence in Teaching fellowship, and a sought-after workshop leader and keynote speaker who delivered the 2016 "Rewrite Your Life" TEDx Talk. When not teaching, reading, traveling, writing, watching craptastic SyFy movies, or hanging out with her family, you can find her dreaming of her next story. Her feminist thriller, SALEM'S CIPHER, hit stores September 2016, and REWRITE YOUR LIFE, which walks readers through the process of transforming personal experience into page-turning fiction, comes out May 2017. You can find out more at www.jessicalourey.com.