Retreat for Healthcare Writers

Hello to Sherry’s writing group! I’m excited to offer a writing retreat for all of you. Here is my suggested plan and I am very open to feedback in order to customize it for you.

Results of the Surveys

Here are the results of the survey I sent you all:

bring your book to life
This is the private beach we overlook!

Weekend that works for the most people: March 10-12. A close second is March 3-5. the speaker I have in mind for the article submission workshop is only available March 4, so I am thinking it’s worth us choosing that weekend (she’s phenomenal and super experienced with healthcare related writing).

There was a good mix of priorities. Top priorities were:

  • #1 Learn a Method for writing flow.
  • #2 Complete work on my project
  • Tied for #2 Come away with a plan for completing work
  • Tied for #2 Meet one or two potential article editors, advisors, coaches

Close behind was to meet one or two potential book editors/coaches

book writing program
Here’s a group writing session at the Narragansett house where we will be meeting. The photo does not quite show off the amazing water views!

Four people wanted to “be more creative” and three are interested in overcoming resistance and sharing some writing with the group and getting feedback. Additional comments included writing sessions, catching up with classmates, sending out writing for potential publication, time for exercise/reading/outdoor activities/music to stimulate creativity/flow, learn where/how to submit essays, get additional writing advice, goal accomplishment.

For the number of hours of free writing, most respondents wanted at least three hours.

For the number of hours of instruction, most respondents wanted 2-3. Note that in the workshop, we’ll be combining some instruction with working on your project (or a prompt, if you prefer).

Front Lawn and view from house.

Most popular time frame was Friday night, Saturday and Sunday, with at least one person asking if they could arrive early. I plan to offer some “on your own” activities to start the retreat on Friday and you can arrive any time after 2 pm. I’ll provide some journal prompts that you can work on during the afternoon plus it’s a lovely spot to go for a walk and there is even a Nature Conservancy Path through the woods (as well as walking on the beach).

Eight prefer a single room. There are only one or two single rooms available in the house, but I will check in with the hotel in Narragansett. There are several double rooms in the house.

Proposed Schedule

Note: This may change, particularly in terms of booking a guest speaker for publishing articles and essays.

Bring good walking/climbing shoes if you want to climb the rocks! This is right beyond our doors!

Before the Retreat

  • Receive a brief description of the TENER Method for Creative Flow
  • Receive an exercise for envisioning what you wish to get out of the weekend retreat

Friday March 10 or 3

write a memoir image
The rocks by the house at sunset
  • Friday afternoon: arrive after 2 pm. On your own: walk, write, connect with classmates. Dinner on your own before the retreat begins. I’ll have a list of several restaurants in the area and nearby Newport. Feel free to bring food. You will have access to the kitchen. Those who want bodywork can also schedule that for Friday.
  • Receive a small “goodie-bag”
  • 7 – 8:45 pm: Envision the Weekend; Set up for Flow; Write [note: we may switch this to Saturday and have Martha Murphy present on where and how to submit healthcare related articles]
    • Brief introduction to 5 Steps for Creative Flow
    • Step 1: Tune In (movement/breath)
    • Step 2: Envision and share vision/goals for the weekend (and/or project you are working on)
    • Step 3: Meet Your Muse guided visualization
    • Step 4: Writing (work on a project you brought or use one of Lisa’s prompts)
    • Step 5: Gratitude
  • You can continue with writing after the workshop time at 8:45 or be social or go to bed!

Saturday March 11 or 4

  • Spend time on your own or socialize, walk, work on your project or journal
  • Breakfast (continental breakfast provided – granola, yogurt, fruit, bread/toast, muffins or banana bread; eggs provided to make your own eggs if preferred) Let me know if you have requests and please let me know any dietary needs. Over breakfast I will be available to answer your writing and publishing questions.
  • 9:30 – 11:30 Learn and use the TENER Method for Creative Flow and work on a piece of writing you brought, or use one or more prompts provided by Lisa [or move this to later in the afternoon and put envisioning here if Martha presents March 10]
  • 12:30 Lunch (salad, choice of soup, bread, cheese, fruit). Any requests? Please LMK asap.
  • 1:30 – 2:30 Time outdoors to walk, take in the scenery or write
  • 2:30 – 3 Qigong and polarity yoga led by Lisa (optional)
  • 3:15 – 5:15 If we meet on 3/4 Martha Murphy on how and where to submit healthcare related articles, followed by Q&A (if we meet the following weekend, then move Martha to 3/10 and move the Saturday morning session to the afternoon).
  • Dinner on your own. A list of restaurants will be provided. You can also use the kitchen (just please clean up if you do).
  • Time for more writing or socializing

Sunday March 12 or 5

  • Spend time on your own or socialize, walk, work on your project or journal
  • Breakfast (continental breakfast provided – granola, yogurt, fruit, bread/toast, muffins or banana bread; eggs provided to make your own eggs if preferred) Let me know if you have requests and please let me know any dietary needs. Over breakfast I will be available to answer your writing and publishing questions.
  • 9:00 Polarity yoga and qigong on the beach (easy, energizing movements) (optional)
  • 9:30 – 11:30 Using the TENER Method, we’ll get into a state of flow and then write for 45 minutes, take a moment for gratitude, do a bit more movement and then write for another 45 minutes. Optional 15 minutes at the end to read to each other in pairs or share in the larger group – we can take a poll. Those who want to keep writing can do so.
  • 12:30 Lunch (I’m working on the details of that now.) It will probably be vegetarian. LMK if you want meat/fish protein available and what.
  • 1:30 – 2:30 Make a plan for next steps (What did you get out of the workshop? How will you take that home with you and make it part of your writing life / self care? What are your goals and next steps? What might get in the way when you get home? How will you prevent that? How will you get support and accountability? )
  • 2:30 – Feel free to do more writing or walking. There is a beautiful Nature Conservancy path adjoining the property.
  • 4:00 – 4:45 Q&A and goodbyes; 7 Tips for better writing. Note: I moved the planning up to 1:30 so that if anyone has to leave early you will get that part! And I’ll have a handout on the tips for better writing, so I can send it if anyone needs to leave early.


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