We each set our own writing goals for the weekend. Word count, number of chapters edited, etc.
I set time aside for quiet writing and we kept to it very well. We had an hour on the Friday afternoon for those who’d arrived early. There was 3 hours Saturday morning and 4 hours Saturday evening. Same for Sunday. Monday was basically for checking out by 10.00 although some did write a crafty 500 words in their rooms!
We had long lunch breaks where everyone could do whatever they wanted. Sleep. Read. Walk. Eat. Carry on writing.
On Saturday, I perused a Peugeot garage and looked around a Landrover garage – I love looking at second hand cars, the specs, the prices, the whole nine years - alone as the storm has just stopped. And on Sunday I walked along the beach towards St Leonards. Beach huts, breaking waves, shingle on the beach. Wonderful.
It was very much a buffet style weekend. People were free to opt in and out of anything.
This time, we had two caravans, each sleeping 4 of us and people moved between them for the writing sessions. I enjoyed the change of scene, even if it was only a different sofa 5 caravans down! I also enjoyed writing and chatting to different people.
Meals were generally eaten separately in the two vans but once we’d written all the words for the day, the wine was opened and we all came together in one ‘van to celebrate, chat and drink wine.
This is the third budget writing retreat I’ve organised, varying from 5, 4 to 8 people. This time I’d booked 2 caravans.
The reason I wanted to organise a budget writing retreat is that I’m aware one can go abroad for beautiful writing retreats lasting a week or more. But for many people, particularly those who have day jobs with limited holiday, or those on a restricted budget, that’s not really doable. The caravan idea came to me after researching budget accommodation in the UK. I looked at Centre Parcs and, although lovely, it was very pricey.
Prices for the caravan, per person for the whole 3 nights have ranged from £43 to £75, so including food it’s usually under £100 per person, which I think is a great price for supportive time with other writers and uninterrupted time to write.
Plus, the benefit of the caravans is it’s incremental. If we have 3-4 people it’s one van. Any more and you simply book another one.
Who knows, maybe this time next year there will be 6 caravans of 4 writers in a site somewhere near the coast in England, all merrily typing away!
We self-catered because that keeps costs down. Usually one person does dinner and pudding for one night, which covers 3 nights, and the 4th person is responsible for breakfast and incidentals (tea, coffee, sugar, milk, ketchup etc).
I wrote 14,000 words on my current WIP, Marrying The Boss, which I’m very happy with.
It’s reduced to 99p / 99c at the moment, so grab a bargain while you can!
Buy link: http://mybook.to/New_Life_Christmas
A New Life For Christmas by Liam Livings
A house exchange between two single men leads to a romantic new life for both of them.
Oliver and Kyle live thousands of miles apart, but each needs a break from his current life and love. Enter the Cloud B&B website, a wonderful new way to exchange homes for the holiday. They both muster their courage, and decide to visit another continent for Christmas.
In the UK, Oliver has been pining after his neighbour for far too long, living his comfortable but quiet life in a town in the New Forest. When his crush moves on in the worst possible way, Oliver is seduced by the chance to stay in fun-loving, sunny Miami.
In Miami, Kyle is a club owning workaholic, who suddenly discovers the man he lives with has been unfaithful. Yet again. As consolation, Kyle is tempted to see first hand the picturebook charm of the New Forest in winter.
Both of them find not just a new setting but a new romance. Oliver makes a big effort to shed his inhibitions and meets a musician, Mark, who plays in the Florida bars, and who may be just as cautious and polite as Oliver in making the first move.
And while Kyle’s trying to come to terms with England’s very different culture—and food!—he’s charmed by Oliver’s best friend Edward, who’s bold and sexy, but secretive.
Will Oliver take the leap of faith and encourage a lover who can and will give the commitment he deserves? And will Kyle find a man who can be loyal and also offer Kyle the family life he needs?
But perhaps more importantly—when Christmas is over, can a new life survive?
Universal Amazon buy link: http://mybook.to/New_Life_Christmas