Right off the bat I want to say that Alicia and I are both members of the Starship; that is how I came to know about this book. Alicia asked for readers and since I will read almost anything, I figured why not. I’ve read this at least two times, and have gone through it several times. There are a few changes from the first time I read it–all good.
I’m not a professional writer, but I want to write books, so I was really interested in this idea of having a mini-writing retreat. Alicia’s writing is very accessible and clear; her idea and process for setting up your own retreat is genius.
There are two track suggestions: one for those in the middle of writing something, and a second for those looking to start writing something. She tackles the practicalities of creating a viable writing retreat, right down to suggesting activities, providing a shopping list, and recipes for meals. Then she provides a schedule and outlines how to approach each segment of your two-day DIY writing retreat.
Beyond the writing practicalities, DIY Writing Retreat also provides writing prompts, adventures, tools for evaluating your progress, a packing list, recipes, and a couple of easy creative projects to do.
Finally, she helps you wrap up and go home. At no time do you feel you are going to be left high and dry.
When I read DIY Writing Retreat I felt this was so doable. I tried doing a 24-hour retreat, but I didn’t follow her advice and it wasn’t fully successful. I learned that the boundaries are really important (I had a major interruption, of my own doing, which mostly derailed mine). Also, I didn’t plan how I was going to use the time, so I wasn’t able to focus when I needed to. My advice is to do exactly what Alicia suggests the first time you do a DIY Writing Retreat, then make personal adjustments.
My criticism: No page numbers. I print things out and I like page numbers.