How To Plan A Creative Retreat For Career Development And Growth



Sep. 28 2023, Published 8:00 a.m. ET

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What makes a person creative is simply the ability to look inside themselves to discover new ways of doing things. This ability to express ourselves creatively is not solely reserved for artists, writers or musicians. In fact, whether you’re a career woman or someone who finds themselves strolling through parks daydreaming of how to add spice to your life, creativity is within all of us. It shows up in the way we interact with others, or how we tackle an idea through problem solving.  

Like every other skill, it is our job to foster the creativity inside of us if we want to see it grow. For some, this may mean taking a creative retreat to designate time to grow in confidence, self-exploration and stillness. 

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What Is A Creative Retreat?

A creative retreat is a time to center yourself in order to tap into those creative juices housed within us. Unlike a vacation, the main objective is to actively work on focusing ourselves and creating a plan to execute our ideas. 

If you’re unsure if a creative retreat is for you, ask yourself these questions. Have I been feeling burned out? Do I feel excited and inspired by the work I am doing? Am I desiring to make a change in my life? 

If so, it may be time to step away from your usual routine and cultivate a space where you feel inspired to flourish. No matter your position or reasoning, here are some ways to make the most of your creative retreat. 

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Finding A Location 

Creative retreats are individualized to fit the needs of the person taking them. You can decide to visit a new city or stay close to home. The best way to decide is to factor in when you feel the most inspired. Here are some things to consider:

– Do you feel most creative in a big city or away from the noise in a small town?

– How long will your creative retreat last?

– Are you going alone or will you bring a close friend?

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Following A Plan 

After you’ve decided on a location, the next step is creating a system. Isis Bradford, marketing consultant and author of Skyrocket Your Business With Social Media Marketing, focuses on a 4-step model: Play, Stillness, Refine and Apply. 

Play: Bradford describes this as the time to try new activities you would typically say no to. These activities can range from hiking, poetry classes or volunteering. There are no boundaries for what you choose. The only requirement is to have fun! 

Stillness: After the fun and games, finding time to quiet yourself is essential for awakening creativity. Since much of our creativity is inspired from within, self-reflection can help our mind discover new, innovative ideas. For many, this can look like getting in touch with your emotions by meditating and  playing soft-music to search your soul. You can use guided questions to reflect on what practices has been useful in your life or where you envision yourself in the future.

Refining: The refining stage is for sorting through your new ideas. This calls for writing them down and deciding which ones to move forward with. Sample activities during this stage can be creating a timeline or benchmark goals for your project. 

Apply: Lastly, this step is the most important when awakening creativity and occurs after your retreat is over. Once you have gathered your ideas, it’s time to execute them. You should implement the actionable goals set during your refining stage. It may also be helpful to document your progress and highlight wins along the way. 

Remember, creativity is a skill all of us have. Stirring up your creativity again may just take stepping back and creating a plan for new ideas.  

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By: Brianna Robles

Brianna Robles is a Brooklyn, NY based journalist and freelance writer specializing in mental health and women’s wellness content. After receiving her degrees in Early Childhood and Special Education, Brianna quickly pivoted to fit her ever-growing passion to share stories. Now, she uses her voice to spotlight Black-women owned businesses and topics that affect the everyday woman. She is also the founder of Writing My Wrongs LLC, a creative writing platform that gives women the tools and space to write their personal narrative. Her work has been published in BK Reader, The Good Trade, Essence, and Well + Good, to name a few. When she's not writing, you can find her performing at local open mics and trying new restaurants.

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