I wasn’t sure what to expect of the writing retreat initially. You’re at home in the English winter and you discover there’s a retreat in Italy in September. You’ve no holiday booked and you’ve put writing off for what seems forever. Then on the spur of the moment you just think ‘why not?’
So off I went, and in two hours I’m in Rome. Hot, vibrant and bustling. The excitement of travelling through Italy by train to the beautiful town of Arezzo for one night and then the next day a train and ferry to Isola Maggiore.
Time has stood still there and within hours I felt relaxed, but excited about the week to come. How had Glynis discovered this tranquil island where the pace of life is like none I’ve ever known?
I wanted time to get back to my writing and this was the perfect solution. Inspirational sessions led by Glynis and the added bonus of a wonderful camaraderie with the other writers. Sharing ideas, experiences and I loved every minute.
Other highlights included the welcoming islanders, the little restaurants and discovering the island itself. Either walking and enjoying the wonderful views, or heading off with my notebook and a head full of ideas that I needed to get down on paper.
I sat, undisturbed for hours, thinking and writing. No interruptions whatsoever other than the noises of the island … The wind in the trees, birdsong and the sound of the water gently lapping on the small beach.
It wasn’t a real beach, just a rocky outcrop, but it was my beach.
I found the week to be more inspiring than I’d ever have imagined. It was just what I needed to help me. My characters developed from being two names to being living breathing characters … all the things Glynis had said helped everything fall into place. It was a real moment of clarity. I couldn’t wait to see what my characters would do next.
I’ve never felt more relaxed and more creative and that’s in no small part due to Glynis’ support and encouragement.
Isola Maggiore is a secret hideaway that’s the perfect place to write, but also relax and make you think differently about a lot of things.
Would I go back? I have to …
-Tony Dixon 2015 Retreat Participant