Christy Marie| Visual Artist

The Getaway

A Writer's Retreat For Women of Color

A Photo Essay

You know, sometimes you gotta get away. Literally.  This was a getaway. A necessary one. I'm sitting here on this comfy blue couch nearing the end of this retreat filled with so much gratitude. I have always had trouble picking what art form I want express myself in and this retreat made me realize something. Why do I have to choose? I am an artist and the only thing I should be choosing is to create. Period. 

I struggled with the idea that I even belonged here. I believed this mainly because my creative side became dormant. I wasn't producing any work and I was beating myself up about it. There is a looming anxiety around being an artist and always needing to produce content or else what are you even doing? The moment I got here I was reminded, to breathe and do my best.

The space is very cozy and just the right type of bright colorful energy I needed to get the creative juices flowing. 

Being surrounded by women of color is such a beautiful place to be. Black women have to deal with so much in this world and we need safe spaces just for US. Where the mask can come off and we are free to relax and create. Spaces like this are just too few here in the Tampa Bay area.  I shared the space with six women varying from novelists to poets to essayists. 

After I decompressed from the work day, I grabbed a glass of wine during the house happy hour and chatted with some of the writers. I was so inspired by hearing what they were working on. So I got to work on my own project! A few of you know I'm working on my second book and it will be featuring nude art of WOC photographed by myself. I decided while I'm here at the retreat to add affirmations to my book and I'm pretty excited for y'all to see it!

My time here was mostly spent moving place to place getting comfy and writing. oh and resting too. Can't forget that. I participated in some group outings as well. We went out to get some good eats at Jimmy Guanas, then went to the beach for the sunset. Y'all. It was perfect.   I am sun child so this is my life.  

I journaled and wrote more affirmations in the company nature and felt so at peace.  One of the affirmations I wrote was:

      " I release those who have hurt me and hold joy in my heart."

We stayed late and the half moon came out to join us. Her luminescence shined an ethereal brightness over us and the water.  I stared mostly in awe then decided to dance to some jams for moon worship. I also unexpectedly learned from a few of the other writers how to identify constellations like Scorpio and Sagittarius.  It was love. 

I had such a beautiful time here and part of me doesn't want to leave. If you're a writer or creative who needs time away, I highly suggesting coming here and getting the quality time you need with your passions.  I will definitely be at the next one! Thank you Kitchen Table Literary Arts!

With gratitude, 

        Christy Marie


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