Often, I feel like the Goldilocks of writing spaces. This venue feels too sterile; this one too crowded. My space at home is wonderful but small, with a surfeit of wall space to hang giant Post-It notes or other accoutrement I imagine would help me create the perfect story. Plus it’s, you know, home, which means that it’s filled with the pesky stuff of real life—cats, bills, UPS deliveries (shakes fist at Amazon).

Every now and again—too rarely these days—I like to treat myself to a writing retreat, taking myself away from work and life a bit and giving myself the gift of a few creative days.

This year, serendipitously (via an online auction to support Hunger Mountain magazine), I came across The Writing Barn in Austin, TX, and I already know it’s a place I’ll come back to as soon as I can.


Why? Because it’s a fantastic spot for a retreat or for a writing workshop (hmmm). Tucked away in a suburban area, the Barn offers just a couple of sleeping spaces—one bedroom and one loft (with some additional spillover space for larger groups and plans to expand further)—but it has everything a writer needs. Giant bookshelf filled with classic novels, books on writing craft, and inspirational notes? Check. Gorgeous porch with plenty of tables and chairs on which to spread out and create? Check. All the provisions of home in a serene and rustic spot, which mixes Asian and Western influences seamlessly? Check and check.

Owner, Bethany Hegedus, an author herself (TRUTH WITH A CAPITAL T; BETWEEN US BAXTERS), has created a gorgeous and welcoming retreat, a place that hums with that special kind of magic that promises wonderful things.

We all need those magical settings that make us feel that any creative dream is possible. I’m so glad to have found this one.

What writing spots are magical for YOU? Share in comments. 

 -- Lorin