Plan a Creative Retreat

Oh man, I am exhausted. But also fulfilled. I took a three day weekend for myself to drive up Ely, MN to the International Wolf Center for a photography weekend. I try to head up there every fall for the colors and since the wolves are more active with the cooler weather. But I look forward to one of my few creative weekends every year. And for us homebody creatives, we need that time to empty and refill ourselves.


Let me make one point: everyone is creative. Let me repeat that. Every. One. Is. Creative.

So we all need to take time for ourselves to replenish in any way we need. It could be just getting coffee with a friend, taking an afternoon to read, or having an evening out with friend. But choose wisely, not how you think you should. So just because you’re married you don’t have to spend you time with your significant other or out with friends away from your family. Spending an evening with them watching a movie may be what you need. Hell, I need a lot of time to myself when I can get it.

And you can alone will know what time and space you need. But make sure you schedule in small amounts of time every week. A medium one every month or two. And a big one once or twice a year.

Now this may be have to work because of work, money, and family situations. So I suggest you work on the small breaks first. Even if its just an hour a week. (Check out this post to see why solitude is good for you.) It could take a while if your job is sucking out your soul or if you have no supportive people around you.

And once you do get the time, don’t try to cram so much stuff into it. You may just need to first few to take a nap. Then bring one thing with you that you’ve been wanting to do; read a book, write in a journal, sketch. Cause you need to honor that time and space.

Here are some questions you need to answer to see what kind of time you need.

  • How often do you need to be alone?
  • Can you easily get the time?
  • Who can help you free up time?
  • What is one small, medium, and big thing you want to do in you retreat time?
  • How can you make you small (medium and big) retreat happen?


Dream big on your retreats. Maybe you want a week to really pound out part of a book. Or have an hour a day paint. Just promise me you will take the time to honor the muse in you. Let that crazy creative side of you out once in a while.its not impractical, or only a little selfish. It makes life colorful and so worth living.



Now this fall, I had myself a wonderful, big retreat. I took three days to drive up to Ely, MN to take pictures. I spent most of my time at the International Wolf Center just because I love wolves. They just recently got new pups and its been a few months since they were introduced into the pack enclosure. (Don’t worry, they were not itty bitty when they went in.) So I had to see how the dynamics changed within the pack.

PS these photos are on my other Instagram account under photography_by_anungv.

I was part of a photography group there, but I had plenty of time and space to myself. And I stayed at a cabin alone with no TV and Internet. It was strange the first day, but very liberating the next.

It was peak time for fall leaves, even though some of the days were pretty chilly. But we had some great hiking time.


So let me know what kinds of retreats you want to have. Or even ones you've already done. I love hearing what people love to do.