Weekend Writing Retreat
Frequently Asked Questions

Retreat Preparation

This is perfectly normal! It is normal to have resistance, anxiety or nervousness before a retreat as the energy of your book is already in motion.

It typically takes between 10-12 hour to complete the pre-retreat requirements, writing exercises, video,  and pre-retreat webinars.

The more you apply yourself to the preparation work the more you will benefit and the clearer you will be to bring through your
book. Since Tom works energetically with the group before and during the retreat, the clearer you are the more he is able to create and maintain the space for you to bring your book through.

It would be highly beneficial if you were to repeat the writing exercises in Tom’s Write to Heal book. We are all in a constant state of evolution and it’s like layers of an onion as you continue to peel back the layers during the writing exercises. You may find new insight and inspiration by repeating the exercises.

You approach the writing from your current perspective. You will only benefit by completing the preparation work. Many times you will hear something completely different than the first time you did the work.

All of the preparation materials are located in the Retreat Membership site. Your login information will be sent to you upon registration.

Please contact Janelle Kutz at Janelle@TomBird.com for technical support issues.

Tom recommends that you do not consume caffeine a few days before and during the retreat. He believes that it puts you too much into your left brain and interferes with the flow during the writing process.

Your point of contact before/during/after the retreat is Donna Velasco. You can reach her at Donna@TomBird.com or by phone at (714) 292-8030.

Tom’s goal at any retreat is to provide the energetic support and connection you need to bring through your books. Many times he is in a deeply altered state in order to do so and interrupting him takes him out of this supportive role. You will have the opportunity to personally interact with Tom and ask questions about your book during the revision process. Please direct all of your questions and concerns to Donna Velasco during the retreat so that Tom can stay connected to the group and your books.

Writing

The feeling of being “stuck” is just resistance that is coming up for clearing for you. This is normal and to be expected during a retreat. The goal is to just keep writing and you will get to the other side of this. You can also use the Circle Drawing method to get things flowing again. This is an excellent tool for your toolbox.

The goal is to write 450 works per 15-minute writing session or approximately 1,500 words per hour.

Writing at this speed is the best indication that you are in the creative flow and not in the left brain which wants to edit, censor or critique your work. There is a positive pressure in the timed segments that does not allow for that.

The average book is about 23,000 words. This can grow to 35,000 during the revision process.

It is normal to feel like you are writing “garbage” or just journaling or writing random thoughts that don’t necessarily make sense in the beginning. Just keep writing! Even if you are only writing about how frustrating or stupid or ridiculous this is. Just keep writing and you will break through this.

Yes, absolutely. You can write longhand for the entire retreat or use your computer. The choice is entirely up to you and how you feel most connected to your book. Tom normally has everyone start out writing longhand and then you can switch to a laptop if you prefer.

It’s entirely possible that your book will start coming through before the retreat depending on how open and connected you are. It is also possible that nothing will come through until you are at the retreat. Both are perfectly acceptable. If the flow starts before the retreat be sure that you are listening to the Writing Audio while writing to connect to the Divine Author Within.

Yes, absolutely. You are free to move around, stand up, or go outside if you feel inclined. Please let us know if you have any special requirements and we will do our best to assist you.

Revision Process

You will begin the revision process once your book is completed. You will leave the main writing room and go to a separate Revision Room where you will be given instructions and guidance through the revision process.

Once you feel you have completed the first step of the revision process Tom will come by and meet with you. If he approves your board you will go on to the next step of the revision process. If he doesn’t approve it he will give you suggestions and recommendations on what to do next. Once completed he will meet with you and approve.

The writing retreats are Tom’s ministry and spiritual gift. He has the ability to connect with the consciousness of your book and can give you specific recommendations on what needs to be done to complete, enhance or revise your book. This is a spiritual gift that is unique to Tom.

End of Retreat

The vast majority of retreat participants complete their books during the writing retreats. Even those that don’t complete their books do achieve clarity and inspiration about their books, lives or life purpose. Writing is an art form and a tremendous amount of healing occurs through the writing process even if you don’t finish your book at the retreat.

You have several options. You can take the FastTrack Retreat which is solely designed to maintain the writing momentum you built during the retreat so that you can complete your book and the revision process with one-on-one support from Tom. When you take the FastTrack Retreat you give yourself the gift of 5 additional days to complete your book.

Another option would be to take another writing retreat either live or virtual and use this time to finish and revise your book in a supportive environment.

The writing retreats are Tom’s ministry and spiritual gift. He has the ability to connect with the consciousness of your book and can give you specific recommendations on what needs to be done to complete, enhance or revise your book. This is a spiritual gift that is unique to Tom.

The FastTrack Retreat is held virtually via Zoom so you can take it from the comfort of your own home or any location you prefer.

The fall-off rate once you leave the retreat is about 95%. The writing is easy during the retreat because Tom clears and holds the energetic space for you to complete your book. Once you get home and back to your normal routine and responsibilities very few people actually complete their books.

Questions About
My Book

Ask your book! Tom recommends you take a 10-minute walk and come back to a writing session. Many times you will find that more starts to come through once you’ve taken a walk or drink water to get the flow moving again. If you feel certain within yourself that you are complete you probably are.

Many people attend the retreat to see if anything additional will come through and use the balance of the time revising their book. There are Returning Authors that are taking the retreat for the 4th or 5th time and are still writing books.

The book you think you are going to write, or have already started is not always the book that comes through. Your book doesn’t always reveal itself until it is in the safety and protective environment created for you at a retreat. It is not important that you know what you are going to write about before a retreat.

The best way to approach a retreat is to come in a relaxed, receptive state of mind. Writing is the exact opposite of how we’ve all been trained to operate such as working hard, achieving goals, being in control and making things happen. The writing flows best in a state of surrender, trust and allowing.

Although there is a group energy and a group dynamic, this is not a competition. Each person is unique and individual and you cannot compare yourself to anyone else. You will finish your book when you finish it. You cannot do this wrong. Tom always says the only person we ever truly write for is ourselves. The healing and transformation happens during the writing process. The written book is just the byproduct.

If you have a goal of becoming a published author or using your book as a promotional tool for your business but are unsure of what might come through during the retreat, the best advice would be to make a reservation for the PublishNow program. Tom only accepts 20 authors into his program each retreat. Contact Donna Velasco to set up a complimentary consultation with Tom to see if it is in alignment with your publishing goals. Your reservation guarantees you a spot in the program and you will have until Noon on the last day of the retreat to either move forward or to give your spot to the next person in line.