BWC Annual Retreat 2012

For the past two years, the Brussels Writers’ Circle has held a weekend retreat at Siddartha, a refurbished convent in Tremelo (Flanders).

“The weekend consists of writing workshops given by members of the group and/or invited guests, lots of writing and the sharing of writing, socialising and quite a bit of red wine and/or beer (in no particular order),” explains Colette Victor, BWC member and organiser of this year’s retreat.

The 2012 retreat will be held on the weekend of June 8, but due to the popularity of the place, if you are interested in attending you will need to send a €25 deposit to Colette by February 17. The total amount will be in the region of €75, but Colette is awaiting confirmation on this.

Schedule

  • Friday: arrival from 17h00. Supper will be served at 20h00.
  • Saturday: breakfast, lunch and supper (workshops/writing sessions take place throughout the day, inbetween meals)
  • Sunday: breakfast, lunch, check-out by 17h00

Accommodation

As the convent only has 17 rooms in total, it is likely that you will need to share a room. Colette says, “If everyone wants their own room, there will only be place for 17 writers. If there are people who are prepared to share, there’ll be a spot or two extra. We do not spend much time in our bedrooms however, besides for sleeping.”

How to Get There

Siddartha is about 30km to the North-East of Brussels, and the best way to get there is by car (about a 45 minute drive). As it is in a remote location, it is difficult to reach via public transport, but if you do not have a car and are interested in attending, Colette says that other attendees are usually prepared to offer a ride. Click here to see the location on a map.

How to Book

To book your place, simply send an email to Colette at colettevictor at hotmail.com by February 17 and she will reply with the banking details. Once you have paid the €25 deposit your place is secure. Should you have any special dietary requirements, or if you will require a lift to and from the retreat, please let Colette know at the time of booking.

Interested in Organising a Workshop?

If you are interested in running a workshop at the 2012 retreat or would like to help out with the arrangements, just get in touch with Colette at the email address listed above.

We hope to see you there!

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The Genius of Writers

Published or unpublished, writers can all experience moments of fear. We can and frequently do have crises of confidence: moments where we wonder about the reaction people will have to our work, moments where we wonder if our writing is ‘good enough’, moments where we can’t write at all because the pressure to produce something brilliant squashes our self-belief. How can I write something brilliant when I don’t believe that I am brilliant?

In the TED talk below, Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the internationally successful memoir Eat, Pray, Love, talks about a possible way of ‘diverting’ our fears by re-thinking the concept of genius. Instead of putting so much pressure on ourselves to be a genius, she says, we should go back to the concept that existed in ancient Greece and Rome. The idea then was that people were not geniuses in themselves, but that they had a genius – a disembodied spirit or ‘daemon’ that fed the artist with ideas, wisdom or talent. This meant that any brilliant work that an artist produced was not through their own inherent genius, but a genius that came to them from a mystical source.

Gilbert gives examples of modern-day poets, songwriters and other creative individuals who describe a sensation of their work ‘coming to them’. Poems fly in across the landscape, new melodies pop into a singer’s head while he’s driving. The sensation is powerful, mysterious, and sometimes arrives with incredibly bad timing.

The author is not necessarily saying that we should all start believing in magical creative spirits again. Rather, she makes a compelling case for thinking about our creative work in another way – a way that distances us from being so personally implicated in our work – so that we can manage our expectations, egos and performance anxieties.

Well worth a look!