Make-Your-Own Writer’s Retreat

What do you do when your husband has to go on a business trip to Chicago? Make your own writer’s retreat, of course!

My husband is an engineer, and he had to go to Chicago last week to oversee some testing of his company’s products. So I decided to tag along on his trip. Lately I’ve been feeling pretty stressed with trying to get my book ready for publication and with trying to get going on my new project. I’m so close to being done with my first book, and I’m really excited about my new idea, but I’ve been having a lot of trouble getting myself to work every day when I’m stuck at home. I thought that this trip would be good for me to get away for a few days and try working in a new environment.

I am so glad I was able to go with my husband on this trip, because it was such a good experience for me. We spent three nights and two days in Chicago. I was born there, so it was fun being back. And of course I had to introduce my husband to the wonders of Portillo’s and Giordano’s. Our hotel was beautiful and was the perfect environment to get some work done.

Just getting out of the house for a couple days did wonders for my work ethic. I got so much proofreading done on my manuscript and made a big breakthrough on my new project. This trip really cleared my head and made it easier for me to get work done.

On the last day, we left Chicago super early to go to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for my husband to finish the last of his testing on a machine they had there. And wow, what a beautiful campus it was. In the morning I got coffee with my uncle who lives there and whom I haven’t seen since my wedding a year ago. And then I spent the rest of the day exploring campus and reading my book in a couple of the libraries and the union. My husband joined me when he was finished, and we walked around more.

We’ve talked before about maybe moving out-of-state for a couple years for him to go to graduate school. I had been turned off to the idea of doing an MFA in the past because my only options in Ohio are Ohio State and Bowling Green (aka the schools my siblings go to and not my style). But after experiencing this beautiful campus, both my husband and I are considering it as an option for grad school in the future.

It was a lot of hours in the car, but this trip was a lot of fun and helped me finish my first book and get going on my second. I am so glad I went!

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