Find Your Writer’s Refuge

When I created this blog nearly two years ago I spent a lot of time pondering what to name it. I wanted a name that reflected both the “mission” of the blog as well as to convey a sense of “place.”

The Writer’s Refuge was eventually chosen because it conveys the mission of getting away from the daily pressures of the writing life and provides a “place” to pause from these pressures and hopefully find insight, inspiration or simply a brief word of encouragement about the writer’s life—a life we all have so deliberately chosen.

The beauty of a name like The Writer’s Refuge is it can have a double meaning. It can be a place where you, as a writer, can retreat to rest—or a place you can retreat to write. And that is what I’d like to talk about today. Have you found your writer’s refuge? Have you found a specific place, a quiet place, an inspirational place, where you can go to focus solely on your writing?

As I write this blog this morning, just two days before Thanksgiving, I am sitting in my writer’s refuge. It’s a cabin nestled among the trees in the north woods of Wisconsin overlooking Surprise Lake. The sky is pale blue, the sun warms me as it pours through the windows in broken shafts of light, and the lake is smooth as glass as it mirrors the Evergreens that surround it.

It is unusually warm for this time of year. The crisp smell of pine is in the air and my laptop faces the sliding deck doors to unveil it all before me. I sit in silence and feel that welcome rush of adrenaline that every writer feels when the words fall on the page (in the right order) while the idyllic surroundings make me feel like a writer.

Once a year, for the last twenty years, I have sat in this remarkable refuge to write, to assess the year’s success, to set goals for the next year, and to ponder how to maximize this extraordinary privilege, this exceptional life, as a writer.

In this blog, I have talked about the deep challenges of the writing life. This post however, is reserved for the joy of the writing life. And there is no better way to experience that joy than to find your writer’s refuge.

Many of you may have your writer’s refuge. If you don’t, have you thought about finding one? It doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t have to travel far. It doesn’t have to be long, a few days will do. If you haven’t already, commit yourself to finding your writer’s refuge.

Once there, set goals for your writing life, both short-term (What will you accomplish next year?) and long-term (What do you want to be remembered for?). Reflect on current success, recommit to future success. Reaffirm your dedication to your writer’s life especially if you work another job full-time.

If you’re like me, you will come home from your writer’s refuge each year more productive, better organized, and deeply motivated.

Most of all, you’ll not only feel like a writer; you’ll possess a renewed sense of being one.


For more information on the mission of this blog, click on the

“Why Writers Read This Blog” at top right.

The Writer’s Refuge blog is a place for writers, like you, to break away from your daily routine and for just a few minutes find insight, inspiration or simply a word of encouragement.

Blog entries will now be posted every other Thursday.

You can reach out to Jim Magruder at:


Published in: on November 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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