Tahiti: My Idyllic Writing Retreat

Tahiti lagoon and infinity pool

Tahiti lagoon and infinity pool

For one luscious week I explored Tahiti, my idyllic paradise … immersing myself in the exotic French Polynesian culture in a soothing tropical environment. Days of surrendering and relaxing in the sunshine, experiencing the here and now.

Snorkeling in lush lagoons … safari trekking through rugged rainforests, waterfalls and volcanic sunset-websizecraters … enjoying the breath-taking sunsets.

Every day I scrawled down whatever was on my mind, in a free Stream of Consciousness way … allowing my mind to fall fallow … so ideas and story possibilities could wander and percolate.

Incredibly, on my very last day, I encountered two inspiring American script writers by chance on our tour of the island of Mo’orea … in between swimming with stingrays and reef sharks. I shared my most dramatic log lines for ME AND HER: a Memoir of Madness. In turn, they persuaded me to create a powerful screen play, portraying my most dramatic scenes and dialogue via a script … I quiver with this amazing Synchronicity!

Mo'orea Island bungalows

Mo'orea Island bungalows


French Polynesian restaurant

During the eight hour flight on the journey home, I madly scribed over thirty pages of writing, and brainwaved plans for three new writing projects …

How are my new Writing Projects developing so far?

1. Written the initial chapters of a brand new Young Adult novel plus a plot summary for the book. I rehearsed character introductions from inside the heads of each main character.

2. Planned the chapter titles and outlines of a mental health non-fiction book

3. Developed the essence of a screen play for ME AND HER: a Memoir of Madness.

I’m ever so grateful for the change of pace and routine, allowing my creative juices to flow freely.

Have you ever noticed how a change of scenery can generate new writing ideas?

Have you ever considered house swapping or house sitting as a low-cost writing retreat?

Helmut dive ... Tahiti lagoon

Helmet dive ... Tahiti lagoon

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24 comments to Tahiti: My Idyllic Writing Retreat

  • Joanna Gaudry

    Hi. I’m glad you’ve had a refreshing holiday, Karen. What a boon to get new project ideas while away. Your mind is forever fruitful, Karen. Good on you. Joanna 🙂

  • Awesomely breathtaking, Karen. Must have been a wonderful experience, and I’m so jealous! Tropical locales are my fave – so I certainly share your awe at the wonderful atmosphere and scenery.

    I’m so glad you got to experience this and that you ‘filled the creative well’ again. Sounds like you’re on a roll. Your energy is a constant source of amazement for me.

    Go for it, girl.

  • Heather Golding

    I couldn’t have said that any better myself! Kaz Delaney is right, you are one lucky girl Karen, to be able to take advantage of such a tropical locale as Tahiti, to become even more creative with your writing – and then to meet up with a couple of script writers for goodness sake! Wow that is simply awesome!! How do you find these people Karen? I am jealous too, but envious and in awe of the amount of energy and creativity that comes from within you Karen. You go girl! Well done! 🙂

  • Thanks Joanna,
    I left on holidays wanting some time out to relax and catch up on some R &R. I couldn’t believe when all the writing ideas came fast and furious on the journey home 🙂

  • Thanks again Kaz for dropping by. Before the trip I was floundering on what direction my writing should take next. Now I have so much more clarity and motivation.
    Thanks for your awesome support 🙂

  • Yes Heather, I feel so absolutely dead lucky to travel to Tahiti.
    How did I meet the script writers? … By accident … as we spent a full day touring Mo’orea by bus, ferry and boat, chatting and getting to know each other and our passions.


    Karen; the photo’s are very inviting and one day I too will visit Tahiti. At first glance, I thought that the shot of yourself wearing the diving helmet was photoshopped, but on closer inspection, found it to be real. How wonderful for you. Were there any sharks or ray’s with you in the tank?


  • Photos are amazing Karen. Screen Play … yes, why not … can’t believe that with such a story line like Me and Her, someone hadn’t thought of it before. Looking forward to sitting at the movies and saying to the stranger next to me, “I know the author”, how cool would that be?

  • Hi Garry, You’ll absolutely LOVE Tahiti. The place we helmet dived was just off the mainland. We were submerged under 12 feet of water. Lots of tropical fish.
    Two days later we swam with stingrays and reef sharks in a lagoon off Mo’orea. Photos going up tomorrow.

  • Thanks Dawn for checking out my photos. The script writing saga took me by surprise. But why not? I have the scenes and the dialogue already … Its more like learning how to reformat the story.

  • Sounds so idyllic, Karen. Glad you’ve had an awesome time and come up with so many interesting new projects. The photos are stunning. Cheers, Kathy

  • Thanks Kathy, Tahiti was so surreal ! I didn’t force those new ideas for my writing projects … they just ‘arrived’ as you might say.

  • Karen your INCREDIBLE!! You can’t even go on hollies without immersing yourself completely in your art and passion. Superb, cest magnifique! Oh, and right you’re suggesting one need only book a trip to Tahiti to absolve all of ones blocks and difficulties in writing. Sounds pausible to me. Where do I sign?

  • For the first six days I mainly wrote little observations and whatever was on my mind. After the accidental meeting with the script writer over on Mor’rea … my mind started buzzing with ideas. Thanks Dimity 🙂

  • Looks great Karen. Would have loved to be able to see bigger versions on those lovely shots. Congrats on all the ‘juice’. 😉

  • Thanks Anthony for checking out my photos. I’ll try to enlarge some to fit onto my blog. Photos will be going up on my facebook page soon anyway. Lots of new writing ideas and directions to keep me busy 🙂


    Thank you Karen. I’ll check your blog tomorrow.

  • Hi Garry,
    My Tahiti photos will be going up on Facebook later today 🙂

  • Steph L

    busy busy busy. you will have to add new tabs/headings to your blog for all your new projects. Look forward to hearing more about them as they progrss.

  • Yes, I am busy but doing what I LOVE best … WRITING. I didn’t think about new tabs … My two new books are title-less at the moment as I decide on what to call them …Hope to blog about the YA novel soon 🙂

  • Judi

    Tahiti looks absolutely perfect for lots of rest, recreation and (w)riting.

  • Hi Judi, every day I read and wrote for at least two hours. Enjoyed reading your new kids chapter story, ‘Totally Batty’ on the plane trip over. Feeling refreshed and revived with new directions and new “channels”.

  • Thanks Angie from Blue Dingo network … for your reminder and PING!

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