Last month, my friend Shannon and I decided to create our own writing retreat to focus on some individual projects we are working on. We booked an adorable cabin up in Big Bear Lake, CA, and wrote and read until we were both restless. When that happened, we'd hike, explore The Village, and go for tea or coffee (the old soul and crafter in me went to a few lovely quilt shops as well). Once we were refueled, it was back to writing and reading!
We both wanted to be intentional about writing, but also had individual goals and times of day we write best, so our schedule was not strict but rather flexible. I was typically found wide awake at 6:30 am outside with a journal and mug of hot tea, accompanied only by chipmunks and blue birds, whereas my friend would still be full of ideas at 11:00 pm (when inspiration came to me only in my dreams!).
I think it's safe to say we would both recommend personalized, flexible writing retreats for anyone desiring some focused, intentional writing time away. Nature worked for us, although I know others could be just as productive out in a city.
(You can read Shannon's account of our retreat on her blog, Isle of Books, where she has also written some great book reviews, some having come from our bimonthly book club).