Tag: Writer


Writer’s Retreat

With the semester winding down, I am ready to focus all of my energy on writing and my upcoming book tour. Since the start of finals week, though, my batteries have been pretty low. As I worked on projects and essays, I kept thinking about how much I’d love to go on a writing retreat. If you’ve never had the opportunity, writing retreats are amazing, like a spa for your brain. You get to just focus on relaxing, getting your creativity flowing, and exercising your writing muscles. So, I’d love to go on a writing retreat, but I don’t have the extra money or time right now. But it got me thinking: why don’t I just have my own mini-writing retreat at home? Wouldn’t that be amazing?!

YES, it would be amazing! And that’s exactly what I am going to do. Wednesdays are my day off, and traditionally I’ve bogged them down with errands, chores, and other things that get in the way of my writing time. Today, I’m going on my very own retreat. The more I thought about it, the more I got excited. A retreat is a perfect way to get out of school mode and back into full-powered writing mode. To begin, I wrote down all of my favorite parts of going on a writing retreat and came up with a relaxing schedule for myself.

Julia’s Mini-Writing Retreat

7:00 a.m. Wake-up: brew a pot of mango green tea and write out goals for the day, and start writing!

A cup of tea can do a world of good

A cup of tea can do a world of good

9:00 a.m. Take a break for breakfast with Shane

10:00 a.m.-Noon Work on current chapter (goal #1 is to finish chapter by the end of the retreat!)

If you get stuck, try writing in a journal

If you get stuck, try writing in a journal

Break for lunch

1:00-3:00p.m. Continue work on chapter

Break for Yoga

Yoga helps me focus and relax

Yoga helps me focus and relax

Dinner: something delicious, healthy, and indulgent like this recipe for asparagus stuffed shells!

Relax: watch a movie, read a book, take a walk, spend some time in the garden…let my brain unwind for a bit

Before Bed: At least another half-hour of writing and set goals for tomorrow

Retreats are meant to be revitalizing and rejuvenating, so the important part of planning your own retreat is doing what is right for you. Whether you have an hour or a whole day, you can plan your own writing retreat. You can start with prompts from a writing guide (I recommend Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer), meditation, a run, some free journaling, a piece of chocolate cake–basically, whatever helps you get in the groove.

The most important part of a retreat is in the name: it takes you out of your normal world and helps you reconnect with your writing. For that reason, I’m going to take a break from social media for the day (after I post this) because it is the one distraction that draws me away from writing every time. So, no matter what you need a retreat for, turn off your cell phone, put your chores on hold, and have a wonderful time treating yourself.

See you when I get back! 🙂

Happy Wednesday!

What would your mini-retreat look like?




Friday Favorites


This Friday Favorites is a bit different than the usual treats, books, and fun odds and ends that make up the post. Today is all about two of my favorite people who just happen to have shared a birthday this week.

The first is my friend, Katie. Katie is one of the best friends anyone could have, and is also a huge reason why my book exists. A writer herself, we would email each other chapters of our respective novels as we finished them and offer immediate critiques and feedback. Katie kept me encouraged, on track, and believed in me even when I did not (which was quite a bit). She also dislikes birthdays, so I won’t say happy birthday. I’ll just say that I am so thankful to have her in my life. I don’t know what I’d do without her.

The second person is my Dad. I guess you could say that my dad is one of the reasons I started writing in the first place. He was never much of a reader, but he always told the BEST bed time stories. My dad pulled out all the stops: voices, sound effects, singing. The best stories were Grandpa Lewis stories where his dad would go on adventures around the world. My grandfather died when my dad was a young boy, but through the stories dad would tell every night, I felt like I still got to know him.

I began writing at a very early age, driven by the desire to tell stories as good as my daddy’s. I hope that I finally have.

Thank you Dad and Katie for being such positive, encouraging people in my life. And thanks to everyone who has supported me along this publishing process. You are all my favorites. 🙂

Happy Friday!