This weekend I spend a delightful couple of days in the South West of England in a tiny little village called Abbey Dore. For Christmas my dad and Karen bought me an amazing gift of a weekend writing course for women, experience gifts are always my favourite. You might not get much to open but the memories of the experience will last forever.

photo (53) I decided to make a long weekend out of it and see as much of the South West of England as I could, driving down to allow me the freedom to stop off wherever took my fancy en route.

‘The worst thing you write is better than the best thing you did not write’ 

photo (49)

‘Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.’ Benjamin Franklin

Over the course of the weekend I stopped in Royal Leamington Spa, Stratford Upon Avon, Abbey Dore, Hay on Wye, Ross on Wye, Cheltenham, London and a brief stop in Watford to catch up with my friend Jo and her beautiful new baby girl. Quite the road-trip. photo (54) I stopped in many a little cafe and even more beautiful independent book shops, each with a collection of second hand, vintage and new books from all genres for sale. I could have got lost in any one of them for hours. I managed to contain my book buying obsession to only four books, not bad considering how many book shops I entered!

‘To survive you must tell stories’ Umberto Eco

photo (50) Books aside, the weekend was about writing and write I did. I wasn’t sure what to expect of a women’s writing weekend with The Wordsmiths  but I was sure if nothing else it would be a relaxing weekend in the country.

‘If I waited till I felt like writing I would never write at all’ Anne Tyler

My weekend turned out to be so much more than this. It was relaxing, inspiring and thought provoking. I met nine wonderful writers who each have a different story to tell both on the page and in person, each at different stages of their writing careers and each filled with incredible energy and positivity to support other writers.   Abbey Door House The weekend included a range of writing exercises, such as ‘The Hive Mind’, ‘You Are What You See’ and ‘Arguments’ to get us all thinking creatively and learning new writing skills, whilst also learning from each others experiences, battles and successes as writers. It was a really supportive group and was heart warming to know that we all struggle with many of the same issues with writing.

pen and paper writing

I left feeling inspired and motivated to write, write, write… exactly what I had hoped. I also have a new close knit group of people to continue talking to and sharing experiences about writing. I know each one of us will have a published story in the weeks, months and years to come.

‘If I waited for perfection I would never write a word’ Margaret Atwood.

Thank you Rachel and Lucy for a brilliant weekend. If anyone is looking for some writing inspiration, an escape and a supportive space, then sign up for the next retreat with The Wordsmiths.

PS. A note to all writers – On writing trends of the time, I was told the hyphen is out, no longer trendy, so stop using them or you’re on your way to being a first-class (oops) writing fool! 😉 

8 Comments

  1. This sounds like a perfect weekend away. I love the idea of the gift I hope to go to a writing workshop this spring. The gifts that give us experiences are always my favorites.

    • Jen Lowthrop Reply

      Do go to a writing workshop, or weekend. It was a brilliant gift and a wonderful way to spend a cold weekend in January.

    • Jen Lowthrop Reply

      Apparently so. I hadn’t quite realised that trends in writing stretched to grammar too. An ever changing language.

  2. Eve Wheaton Reply

    Brilliant weekend and you’ve captured the fun and inspiration it provided. Thanks for all you brought to the time at Abbey Dore and for this lovely reminder.

    • Jen Lowthrop Reply

      Thanks Eve. It was a wonderful weekend, you’re writing (and reading) is superb and I can’t wait to find a novel out soon. x

  3. Pingback: 8 Experience Christmas Presents for Travel Lovers - She Gets Around

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