Thank you for visiting my Writers Retreat Blog.
This blog will hopefully inspire you to follow my footsteps and do a Writers Retreat of your own ... after all, writing should be fun and so should life! What is this book about?
Boracay in the Philippines is no doubt one of the most beautiful writers retreat locations on earth!
Boracay is frequently crowned the “Best Beach in Asia” (White Beach) and one of the most beautiful tropical islands in the world — it sucked me in like a vacuum cleaner to a wedding ring. It was my dream to spend 6 months living on a paradise tropical island of such refined beauty. From its white sand, crystal clear blue water, scattered palm trees, and vibrant atmosphere — I fell in love with Boracay from day one.
I chose Boracay to write my first draft of the book because I wanted to live in a happy, carefree environment, where I could swim, relax, and socialize when not writing. One of the best things about Boracay is that everything is within walking distance. I decided that living the simple life was going to save me time and a bucket of cash by avoiding taxis and public transport. Boracay is not commonly seen as a cheap place, in fact it’s the most expensive destination in the Philippines. With the right know-how however, you can live for around $20 US a day including everything. I spent six months in total on the island and lived in two separate locations.
For the first 3 months I relaxed and lived in a reggae bar and had a great time but didn’t achieve much writing. I moved to a kite surfing resort on Bulabog Beach (the “Back Beach”) for my final 3 months, where I put my mind back on the job and finished my first draft as planned. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my 6 months in Boracay. I found that if you put yourself in the right working environment you really can write and enjoy the island at the same time without blowing you budget. While I was there I also became good friends with the famous author of “Marching Powder,” Rusty young, and also met some lovely directors and producers in the US film industry who are interested in looking at my book one day for film purposes. I followed my intuition to this beautiful island and it didn’t leave me disappointed. Although you can live much cheaper than I did, you can also live far far more extravagantly than my budget allowed me to.
After a 7 month break from writing the book I moved back to Boracay again to work on my second draft in Feb 2015.
-Surrounded by vibrant, happy people enjoying their holiday and always up for a chat.
-The beach and the weather are both perfect (depending on the season and time of year.)
-There are many cheap options if you want to survive on a frugal budget.
-There is a immigration office on the island to easily process visa extensions every 59 days so you can stay for up to 2 years without leaving the island.
-You can eat quite healthy meals and seafood caught straight from the ocean.
-Everything is within walking distance.
-Outside of writing and relaxing — there are lots of activities to keep you busy on the island including sailing, scuba diving, kite surfing, snorkeling etc.
-If you stay away from station 2 you can actually live very quietly and cheap and out of the tourist limelight.
-There are mediation and yoga centres to help keep you focused on your writing.
-The island has many famous and important visitors and bumping into people that can help you with your book is quite possible.
-You can pack extremely lightly — all you need is flip flops, shorts, and a t-shirt or tank for clothes.
-It is generally too hot and sticky to write outdoors or in a fan room (air con is a must to really concentrate.)
-The internet is usually extremely slow and inconsistent, which makes doing research a headache.
-Brownouts or blackouts are almost a daily occurrence especially in peak season and hot days.
-People are in holiday mood — making it hard to concentrate and be productive while everyone is drinking and inviting you out.
-The thriving night life and cheap strong beers become hard to repel and breakdown your willpower over time.
-If you’re a single man on the island, and surrounded by beautiful women (temptation island) — it doesn’t take long before the local girls take your mind off the job.
-The wet season is extremely wet and the whole island seems to flood making it hard to bring your laptop around with you.
-The local food is quite bland compared to Asian standards and eating can become dull if you’re on a tight budget.
-It’s impossible to not be sandy and sweaty each day and you’re always feeling dirty.
Don’t forget to check out my book trailer video if you haven’t already. Click here to be amazed and join the excitement!
Boracay Living Expenses
|*note can easily live for half the price or 10 time the price|
|Details||Daily (Peso)||Daily ($ US)||Weekly (Peso)||Weekly ($US)||Monthly (Peso)||Monthly ($ US)|
|Accommodation||1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom, Fan (on beach)||433.33||9.69||3033.33||67.86||13000.00||290.83|
|Utilities||Included in rent||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
|Drinking Water||20L tank||5.00||0.11||35.00||0.78||150.00||3.36|
|Phone||Unlimited text package Globe||15.00||0.34||105.00||2.35||450.00||10.07|
|Visa||varies per 59 days||56.67||1.27||396.67||8.87||1700.00||38.03|
|Washing||1 load per week (2.5 kg)||14.29||0.32||100.00||2.24||428.57||9.59|
|Transport||free (walk everywhere)||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
|Breakfast||Bacon, 2x Eggs, toast, fruit, coffee||100.00||2.24||700.00||15.66||3000.00||67.11|
|Fruit Shake||Banana / Mango (cheapest price)||50.00||1.12||350.00||7.83||1500.00||33.56|
|Lunch/Snack||Shawarma / Tapsi||60.00||1.34||420.00||9.40||1800.00||40.27|
|Dinner||Traditional Stir Fry||140.00||3.13||980.00||21.92||4200.00||93.96|
|Beer||2x local beers (bottle)||100.00||2.24||700.00||15.66||3000.00||67.11|
|US Dollar||Philippines Peso|
|Exchange Rate||as of 25th March 2015=||1||44.7|
Click here to read another inspirational blog write up on living in Boracay for $20 US a day. This was the article that helped me decide to come to Boracay to live and write. Enjoy 🙂
Hanging out with Rusty Young was one of greatest things that happened this year from my writers retreat! For those who don’t know who Rusty Young is – he is the famous author of the best selling book and soon to be film “Marching Powder.” I met Rusty by the random chance of his friend Darcy accidentally walking into my bedroom, while I was struggling with writers block. The following day Darcy introduced us together and I quickly became mates with Rusty and he helped me with my book. Rusty was on the island writing his second book and was full of advice for me. Rusty invited me to his apartment for dinner with his lovely girlfriend and we discussed writing throughout the night. I found Rusty to be extremely down to earth and he hasn’t let his fame or fortune change him in any way. Most people don’t believe he is who is he as he keeps a low profile. I hung out and drank with Rusty on quite a few occasions and he even called me from Australia once just to help me out when I was on the verge of quitting the book. When Rusty left Boracay, he lent me his printer and gave me some stationary to help me along with my writing. It’s was a very humbling experience to see someone from such a successful writing background to help a struggling nobody like myself. Thank you Rusty Young and if you get a chance please read his book “Marching Powder.” Those I’ve met who have read his book claim it was being one of the best books they have ever read and they couldn’t put it down. You can buy Marching Powder here if you are interested!
Welcome to the brand new website!
This new website will keep you up to date with all the latest updates from the book. I’m also writing a “Writer’s Retreat Blog” to keep you all up to date with with the writing process from my writer’s retreat covering three continents. Please share this website with your friends on Facebook and help spread the word. The more people who know about this website and the book – the greater the chance I get published. I will be updating my blog at regularly from now on so don’t forget to and this to your bookmarks and check back at a later date.
Thank you so much again for your support and enjoy the read!
New Website is coming soon
The new website is just a couple of days away from being launched. 18 more people to go before we get our 500th follower…it’s all coming together. Exciting times ahead. Please share this group with your friends and let’s get it over the 500 follower mark. Thanks again for your support and patience Peace!
Writing in Cesky Krumlov as the perfect location
My new writers retreat location: Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic! I begin the second draft tomorrow and I’m very excited about it. I chose this location for several reasons: It’s beautiful, cheap, walkable, cool climate, has fast internet, and it’s full of tourists who I can communicate with as they pass through the hostel I’m living in. Every day I see a thousand amazing writing locations in this neat little town…it’s just perfect!
Why wait any longer? Follow your Dreams Now!
Why not follow your dreams? For the past five years I’ve doubted myself. I told myself I can’t write, I can’t read, and I had no idea how I would ever start or finish this book. The book began taking over my life. I chose to listen to those who doubted me rather than those who supported me. I battled hard to finish my first draft through waves of depression, anxiety, and a complete lack of self confidence. I wanted to give up over and over again but ploughed on through the tough times.
Now that I’ve finished my first draft – I can now sit back and see the book with clarity. I’m 30% happy with what I’ve written, but more importantly I’m proud of myself for charging through, not giving up, and ticking off the first box. I’m feeling optimistic about the final product and I got so many ideas for the next draft. I can see where I need to improve and what I need to do and I’m feeling much more confident and excited about the rest of the book.
I’m about to begin the second draft in the next week and let me tell you it’s going to be an enjoyable read! It’s funny, it’s scary, it’s exciting, it’s sad, it’s enthralling, it’s very very cheeky – and you’re going to love it! I’m going to take it slow and enjoy the process whilst weaving my humor and creative talents amongst the words. Sometimes in life there is no point running away from your fears – you have to tackle them head on. If someone tells you you can’t do something, then BELIEVE IN YOURSELF and use that energy to spur you on. If you have a dream – then go for it! Don’t dwell on it…and never give up. There is no such thing as failure if you give it a go!
LIFE IS TOO SHORT…FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS NOW!
Yes Finally…The First Draft of my book is complete
It’s been a slog doing this first draft but I’m sad to say it’s my final day in Boracay today after an amazing past six months. The good news is that 20 chapters, 328 pages, and 104,784 words later…I’ve finished my first draft of the book Thanks to everyone who has made this such a special time for me and helped me along with the book. I will miss this place! I’ve left over 1,000 promo cards scattered throughout the hostels and bars here…mission accomplished! Thanks again for everyone who helped me especially Rusty Young who is the Author of the famous book Marching Powder. I wish him all the best with his upcoming film on his brilliant book.
Writers block sucks!
Some-days . . . OK every day – I really struggle with the fact I’m writing a book and writers block is killing me. I’m no writer, I’ve just got good stories. I doubt myself, I feel alone, I hate reading, I can’t focus, I got no idea what I’m doing, I fear failure, I put too much stress and expectation on myself, I procrastinate at Guinness record rates, I run away from my problems, I drive myself crazy and I compare myself to everyone else around me.
Each day I want to throw it in and quit: I feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, it’s hard to see an end to it and this writers block is driving me crazy – but I’m one stubborn, stubborn bastard, and I will continue with the bloody book until it kills me! If I fail, I fail; If I succeed, I succeed…today I feel like being honest and venting my thoughts.
Life is not always peachy trying to write on a tropical island where everyone else is having a blast around me…it’s a daily struggle, and I’m struggling! Feeling down in the dumps with a low battery…
Screw you writers block.
How is your life going?
Writers Retreat on a tropical island coming up!
I’m excited to announce that in February 2014 I’m moving to the Philippines and India for 12 months for a writers retreat. I plan to live on two tropical islands called Siargao and Boracay in the Philippines for 6 months then live on the beach in Goa, India for 6 months to hopefully compete the first few drafts of the book. I’d recently lost inspiration to work on the book due to work and life demands. I gathered a writers retreat on a tropical island will be the best way to focus on the mega task ahead without interruptions…I’m feeling very excited about it now.
Sometimes life is too short and you have to turn your dreams into a reality and enjoy each day along the way. Paradise Island writers retreat here I come.