Yes Way Write Doe Bay

Doe Bay Writing Retreat

Write Doe Bay Writing Retreat

In the past year or so, my life has thrown so much unexpected at me. Any one of these events might have knocked me off my footing, but the combination of everything that’s happened to me? It’s a bit unmooring, at best. Why not head off to a writing retreat?

I keep jumping into that abyss. Since my mom has died, I’ve been to: LA (twice), Sonoma, Ireland, Brazil, Peru and Colombia. As I wrote months ago, getting on a plane and going somewhere where everything is new, rather than too many things being new in a familiar location, is good for my (tortured?) soul.

And so…I write this to you on a plane somewhere over Minnesota, on my way to my first writing retreat, on Orcas Island, off of Seattle. I know only two people, and I don’t really know what the weekend holds…other than, I hear, a plunge in the cold water at the end? But everything I hear is that it’s life-changing, and hey, I could use a little of that.

At “worst”, it will be a wonderful weekend spent unplugging and learning more about myself and my writing among other word nerds.

Being knocked on my ass again and again this past year is teaching me how to nourish myself, and I can’t think of anything better right now than spending the weekend in a beautiful (wifi free zone!) place, writing my heart out.

How do you care for yourself? (Or, if you’ve lost your mother, too, how do you self-mother?)

8 comments on “Yes Way Write Doe Bay

  1. Juli

    I’ve lost my mother too, and I don’t know that I’ve figured out a good way to self-mother. I’ve realized how unique my mom was in that some of the things she did that made me feel so incredibly loved, no one else I know really does. She would send mail, cards and gifts and such, to people all the time, call everyone she knew regularly, and say hi to everyone she encountered with a joke and a smile, even when she was down. I found myself missing those things the most. For a while, I felt bitter that no-one I knew did these things. I’ve since grown and one way I remember and honor my mom is by trying to do these things for the people I love. I try to pick up the phone regularly, send mail or get little gifts for no reason, and compliment folks more. I figure if I miss it, others may appreciate it, and I want to put into the world what I’d like to ideally get. Plus, it makes me feel close to my mom.

  2. Mindy

    So excited to hear about this weekend and everything that comes out of it. I really need to start writing more. I’m a bit (a lot) jealous of this opportunity.

    As for caring for myself – of late, my go to is a hot bath. But, in reality, I’ve done a pretty shitty job at it in the last year, other than (unhealthy) tendencies to self-medicate with whiskey or wine.

  3. M

    I think of you often lately because my mom suddenly passed away a month ago. My situation is a bit different, however, because my mom was very emotionally abusive and neglectful. All grief experiences are different, but I truly believe that they are all earth-shattering. I feel certain of this after losing someone who was so significant, but also not really present for me in a positive way EVER. I feel compelled to comment because I have been working on self mothering, too. I actually started 2 years ago before her passing. It is super helpful. Whenever I’m in a tough situation, I tell my child self that she is safe and that I, the adult, will handle it ❤️

    Enjoy the writing retreat!!! And keep doing what you do! It is so helpful to read or listen to ❤️❤️❤️

    1. Theodora Blanchfield Post author

      @M: I’m sorry for your loss, no matter how the relationship was before. That is certainly a different kind of grief, but grief all the same. Be gentle with yourself <3 (something I tell myself again and again and again.)

      And thank you! Hearing what I write is helpful is the best compliment you could give me <3

  4. katie

    I hope the retreat goes well! I think travel is a great way to stay occupied, if you haven’t read “terrible, thanks for asking” definitely pick that one up to get a little idea of how Nora coped with her grief.

  5. Cindy

    I have nothing deep to offer, except that the San Juans are one of the most beautiful and soul enriching places I’ve been. I’m actually working on booking a trip to Orcas Island in May. I hope it’s a wonderful weekend for you.


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