Essentials for a wintry writer's retreat

If you have the opportunity to get away to someplace inspirational to work--do it! It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive, it just has to remove you from your home office and put you into a refreshing change of scenery. For example, I rented a log cabin in the Canadian woods in an off-season week, and I have to admit, just the thought of it has already invigorated me to be super productive and committed to coming home with pages and pages of new material for my next novel.

Dog in the snowy woods

Naturally, I have put quite a bit of thought into what to pack for the week, since the cabin is secluded and it will be a pain driving in and out to the store for supplies. So besides the obvious food, drink, and comfy loungewear required for a week in the woods, I thought of a few other not-so-conventional items to help you plan your own wintry writer's retreat.

1. Snowshoes and/or skates are necessary equipment for those much needed exercise breaks to counterbalance that kink in your neck from looking down at your laptop and typing all day.

2. Baking supplies let you step away from the buzzing computer screen and binging social media apps for an hour in the kitchen baking chocolate cupcakes, while offering a much needed midday sugar high.

3. Your KOBO is filled with classic books to bring you much needed inspiration during your writing dry spells. One of my personal favorites is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.

4. A shovel and a flashlight to appease those of you like me who worry about being storm-stayed alone in the woods!

5. Decaf coffee, herbal tea, and hot chocolate as an alternative to fully loaded coffee, so that you’re not jacked up the whole time on caffeine when all you really want is a nice, hot drink.

6. Advil for the days when you stare at the computer too long and actually give yourself a headache

7. Good music from your iPod, phone, or laptop with speakers; or better yet, your guitar if you play one.

8. A camera to snap both your candid Instagram moments and the beautiful wintry wonderland outside your door.

9. A pair of slippers since you never know how reliable the heat is going to be.

10. Binoculars let you gain new perspective on the world which will help with your writing. Is there anything more inspirational than seeing the close up face of a red cardinal perched on a snow-capped fence? 

Happy writing wherever you find yourself this week!

Stacey D. Atkinson is the author of the newly released novel Stuck, which she published via her independent company Mirror Image Publishing.

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