Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Value of a "Write Away"

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

I have a good friend who often says, “I’m going to be gone this week to a “write away.”

What you may ask is a “write away?” Simply put, it's a time set aside where you go somewhere and write away (in more ways than one)!

When you are in a writing slump and can’t seem to get the words flowing, maybe you need a change of scenery and routine.

Recently my husband and I took a few days and went to the beach. We had no agenda but to catch up on work and enjoy our surroundings. The view was beautiful, you could hear the ocean when you opened the window, and the weather couldn’t have been nicer. We stayed in our pajamas all morning, swam every afternoon, and went out to eat for dinner. We are seafood lovers so the food was a delight. But for me, just not having to think about what to fix for supper was a blessing. I could get up and focus on my writing, write as long as I wanted, and then take a break to swim—my favorite form of exercise. I had taken a long “to do” list and enjoyed the time away more with every tick on the page.

You may be thinking to yourself—That’s fine for you but I can’t just run off to the beach for a few days. The good news is you don’t have to.

I have a friend who lives on a lake just a short drive from my house. She has a beautiful home with an entire glass wall in her living room. The view is calming, relaxing, and extremely conducive to creativity. This sweet friend has given me an open invitation to come to her house and write any time I need to have a write away. Usually I just go for an afternoon or a day but occasionally I have camped out in one of her guest bedrooms for several days. I take whatever I want to eat and can stay in my writing uniform (pajamas) as long as I like. Do you have a friend you could visit for a write away?

If not, why not find another friend who is also a writer or has another creative profession. Could you meet each other at a coffee shop or restaurant for the morning? Being with someone who is also creative will make your write away more interesting and more fun. You will find yourselves brainstorming throughout the day as you network and encourage each other. At the end of your time together, you will not only have had fun but also will have found you have been really productive.

No matter what method you choose, the benefits of taking a break from your normal routine are great. Does your creativity need a jumpstart? Plan a “write away” today.


Linda Gilden is a wife, mother, and grandmother. Linda finds great joy (and lots of writing material) in time spent with her family and enjoys every opportunity for a short “write away.” Her favorite activity is floating in a pool with a good book surrounded by splashing children!

To find out more about Linda, her writing, and her ministry, visit You can also connect with her on Twitter @LindaGilden and Facebook at Author Linda Gilden.


  1. Excellent advice, Linda, and I'm going to put it to use when my wife goes to her annual teacher's convention. While she's in teacher sessions, I'll be "writing away" in the hotel room. I've done it before, and it was during that couple of days that I got started on my book _Confederate Cabinet Departments and Secretaries_. So it works for fiction and nonfiction writers alike!

  2. Love this idea, Linda. We had a camper (before we lost it in the SC floods last year) and that was one of my favorite things: heading to the beach for a week. My hubby would "do his thing" and I would write to the sound of waves on the beach. Ahhh!

    I love the idea of going to the lake, too! Any change of scenery would be perfect for "gettings words on paper."

  3. Got one of these planned with a couple of co-author buds next month and can't wait. My write away includes ridiculous amounts of coffee and chocolate. :) Great advice, Linda!

  4. I've done this several times at a nearby state park. My husband dropped me off and I stayed in our camper for several days of writing time. It was wonderful to have only myself to worry about. I think it's time for another "write-away." Thanks for the reminder.

  5. I love my write aways! I think I'm past overdue. Thanks for inspiring me :)