If it's any consolation for those of you who aren't able to go to a retreat space far away, please know that you can do this sort of thing yourself, locally. I used to go to a really cheap B&B one hour from my house, alone. Whatever you can do to just find a place where you can breathe, and think, and take the time you hardly ever have to devote to your craft will be so very beneficial. You can even find a room or space at the library to call your own once a week or so. Take along a book you find inspiring, take along pen and paper or your computer, and give yourself the luxury of letting your imagination go. The most important thing you can do if you want to write is not take classes or go to retreats or obtain degrees but to really commit to that longing inside to get what's in there, out. And as a lot of writers say, myself included, the best instruction in writing comes from reading. Make a promise to yourself to read at LEAST half an hour a day, much more if you can. And keep a pencil and notebook by your beside for those great ideas that come in the dead of night. Be watchful of the way people move, and listen to how they talk. Observe your species all the time, and if you can do so with great love and forgiveness and hope, so much the better--for them and for you. - Elizabeth Berg
I have said it before and I will say it again, she is my absolute fav author of all time. I have many that I love, but I think she is the one I can read again and again. Time slows down when I read her work. And I feel a sense of peace and presence which I don't often get when I read other writers, so this is one of many reasons I love her. Also, her work is very real and easy to read, but deep and meaningful too.
Don't you just love the quote above? And oh my gosh - to have a reason to read so much! Joy.