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The Value of Retreating Editors

This past week, my mastermind group, affectionately known as the Quad, held its third annual business retreat. Retreats are well regarded for building your faith and getting your novel written. Business-themed retreats, however, are regarded with a little more suspicion. Will there be something of value for all team members, or is it just an excuse for a paid vacation?

But as life has become more intrusive, retreating from all the noise has become critical if we are to focus on what’s important. We need time to think and reflect. We need time to review and plan.

Corporate Retreats

Whether you work with other editors in-house or are the sole editor working with writers and a production team, a team retreat can help everyone get into sync.

Companies should work toward not just hiring good workers but retaining them, as well. “The best way to do that is to make people feel like they are part of a family,” writes A. J. Agrawal for the Huffington Post. A team retreat can help build that family feel. It can also help a creative team get to know one another’s styles and working methods. This can smooth out any bumps in the production process.

Such team building isn’t something that can be done in a meeting between deadlines. Says Rebeca Mojica, owner of the Blue Buddha Boutique, after running her company’s first retreat, “I realized that the whole point of the retreat was to take a break from the daily grind. To not feel like you’re juggling eight things while standing on one leg and trying to put out a fire across the room.”

Retreats can be especially beneficial for remote teams. As much work as we put into our emails and texts with colleagues, they can’t replace face-to-face conversations. “Sometimes it’s better to have an in-person gathering to hash out important, company-wide decisions,” writes Kaleigh Moore at

Retreats for Freelancers

As important as retreats are for editors working as employees, they’re doubly important for self-employed editors.

As a freelance editor, you’re responsible for more than just editing. You’re responsible for every aspect of your business, from structuring the business and getting clients to invoicing clients and all of the other administrative work required to keep a business running. It can be exhausting.

With so much demand on your time and energy every day, it’s easy to feel drained and fall into restricting habits. “Business retreats can get you out of a rut, help you explore the world and help you boost your business all at the same time,” writes Amanda Abella in Due.

You can retreat with colleagues from a regular business support group, as with the Quad, or with colleagues you think can help you reach your goals for that retreat. Either way, all parties should be helping one another and should have clear goals in mind for the retreat.

Freelancer retreats can focus on your business or editing skills. Maybe you’ve been struggling with how to get more clients like your favorite client. Perhaps you’ve been wanting to learn how to edit fiction. Both are good topics for your retreat.

For employees and freelancers alike, the goal of a business retreat is to get yourself out of your own head. You want to open your mind to new ideas. A good retreat should give you time to think about things and brainstorm ideas.

As the retreat wraps up, you should determine your next few steps so that you can take action when you get home before the energy of the retreat fades.

Give yourself the time to reflect on your career and plan your next steps, and you’ll reap the rewards far beyond the first day back to work.

Originally published on January 19, 2018 on Copyediting.

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