Review: how I fought writer’s block with Urban Writers Retreats

Disclaimer: I paid for this retreat in full out of my own pocket. I’m not sponsored to write this review. The opinions expressed here are purely my own and based on my experience.

This year I’ve set myself with many goals, and a key one is to write more. However, and you’ll know this if you’ve been following my antics on Instagram, it hasn’t been so easy for me.

Each Sunday I reflect on the week just gone and my creative practice. Scarily, most weeks lately have been wildly unproductive. I try to stay away from excuses and being honest with myself, so I knew I needed a little more help to focus. I really just wanted a space to hide and write without any distractions and get over myself.

Enter Urban Writers Retreats.

Since all of my money is going on trips this summer, I sadly couldn’t afford one of their overnight retreats, but I saw they offered sessions in London. I couldn’t book my spot quick enough.

The booking process was smooth, and the emails from the organiser felt personal and informative. Closer to the date, we all received a goal setting list to aid with productivity. I’m a wild child so I didn’t fill it in, although breaking up my day in hour sprints did help, and I came away having written a blog post, the outline for another and a bunch of character work for my novel PLUS a whole scene.

The fee included lunch, snacks and hot drinks – which were very welcome by both my cold heart and my empty wallet.

What I loved

I did not expect my day to be as productive as it was. I’m quite fickle and I have the attention span of a goldfish, and more often than not I rebel against forced inspiration.

But it worked.

Upon arrival, I was quietly welcomed by one of the organisers and set up my work station. Other writers trickled in slowly and at their own pace. I absolutely loved the sense of calmness throughout the day. Everyone kept to their own, and conversation only arose during lunch.

The venue was centrally located and so easy to get to. There were enough power banks for everyone and all the coffee a desperate writer might need.

All in all, it felt like being back in the library at uni, when synergy would flow from one desk to the other as we’d all power through essays and exams.

What could be improved

Nonetheless, I still feel there’s some room for improvement. The room was quite cold and the workbenches I sat at were not ideal for long term writing. Lunch provided was from Pret, and given the cost for the day, I would have liked to see another selection of food.

Urban Writers Retreats – Yay or Nay?

It’s a solid YES from me. I was very productive and I came out wanting to come back. In fact, I’m already looking at potential dates for one of their overnight retreats. If you want more info on their programmes, you can visit their website.

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