Writer’s retreat in Brittany

Written by on March 12, 2020 in Holidays & Things to do

Woman writing in a tranquil setting in Brittany, France

Finding time to write. It can be a problem. We’ve all been there.

We have big plans for a great story and then we have to go to work, we have to cook dinner, pick up the kids, clean the house, entertain guests, go on outings. And then after all of this extra work all we want is a break where we don’t have to think. We watch television, read a book, go to the cinema—anything that doesn’t involve writing that idea we were so passionate about before.

And that’s a shame, isn’t it? Because our idea was good. Our story could be excellent. And the world will be missing out on it until we find the time for ourselves. A time that we can truly focus and claim that passion back. We need time where all our responsibilities can fade away, where inspiration can strike and we can sit down and write. It doesn’t have to be close by. Sure, it’s nice around the corner in the local Starbucks or Costa but what about in the middle of the countryside? What is it like to write with the sound of birds chirping outside of the window? What is it like to finish a day of writing, sit down in front of a roaring fireplace with a good book and a well-deserved glass of wine?

Le Stylo Noir Writers Retreat in Brittany

Beautiful house in the countryside in Brittany, grassy hills, orchards and fields around

This is the very basis that ‘Le Stylo Noir Retreat’ in the Cotes d’Armor, Brittany, was founded on. The ‘What If’s’ are answered with five-night stays and twelve-night courses. Each room has a double or king size bed, a unique desk and comfortable chairs to relax on when you reach a well-deserved break. Downstairs, in the dining and living rooms lies a treasure trove of books in a host of genres to inspire and help you when the words may not be flowing as easily as you would like.

The entire Retreat was created to be an idyllic haven for writers. A place where they can meet, write and read the days away. The founder of the retreat used her knowledge of being a writer, input from her writer friends and the Twitter #WritingCommunity to find somewhere that would be far removed from their busy lives back home. So, let’s take a moment and picture it, shall we?

Why go to a writer’s retreat?

Dining room lined with book shelves

There you are, pulling up down the rustic driveway near lovely Saint Gilles Du Mene, towards the farmhouse with its distinctive blue shutters. There’s another small farmhouse next door growing lettuces, leeks, carrots etc. but no other houses nearby. The occasional sound of a tractor can be heard. Birds tweeting in the trees, the local friendly farm-dog population, a couple of sheep and if you venture down the track the sounds of chickens and geese. These come and go, the sounds of the peaceful countryside. As soon as you get out of the car you take a deep breath of fresh air.

You venture into the house. Are you staying in Hugo with its garden door leading to the hidden patio? Dumas with its built-in desk and view over the farmland? Or, perhaps you’re staying in Verne, with its large king-size bed and couch to cosy up on and read? Either way, you have your own private bathroom with shower or bath.

You put your writing materials near your desk, ready to start work. But before you begin, why not head to the main room where you find the full-to-the-brim bookcases, comfortable couches and the dining table being set for that night’s dinner using local French produce? Glasses for wine or cider are next to the placemats, ready for the celebratory first night drink. There’s a table by the window with everything you need to make tea and coffee throughout the day.

All you need to do is feel relaxed, inspired and write.

Writing course in Brittany

Castle towers and turrets rise above the riverside town of Josselin in Britanny

Perhaps you’re there for a Twelve-Night Summer Course? You’re ready to learn and to speak to other writers who will understand your goals and anxieties as a writer. Maybe they can teach you something that you can build on in your own writing? There are also trips included to inspirational places like Josselin, Paimpont and Paimpol. Brittany is one of the homes of the Arthurian Legends, a land of stories, languages and history.

The course is designed to give you all the time you need to learn and write. Half of the time is spent on the course, the other half is for you to have the peace and privacy to work on your project. After dinner there will be fun games, designed to bring back the passion to write or build on the passion you already had.

There’s plenty to explore in the local area when you decide to give yourself a well-deserved break. There are beautiful local villages. Interesting and inspiring walks through forests that seem to have leaped out of a book themselves. Seasides to explore. If you venture out a little further in your car you can visit the Ile De Brehat, a flowery, unspoiled little island near Paimpol.

At the end of your time here you’ll be sad to leave and go back to your busy life. But, you’ll always know that the Retreat will be there waiting for you to return. To come back and write that amazing book, poem or play that you know you have inside of you.

Find details of the Writer’s Retreat in Brittany and book your stay or course at: lestylonoirretreat.com/the-retreat

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