Laura Munson’s Haven Writing Retreats

By Mad Dog
Published: Feb 06, 2013

You surely remember Laura Munson, author of the New York Times best-seller, This Is Not The Story You Think It Is — the marriage memoir in which her husband unilaterally declares their marriage over and she responds with “I don’t buy it. What can we do to give you the distance you need, without hurting the family?”

Now she leads writing retreats in Whitefish, Montana. What are they like? Well, they’re not just for “writers.” Here’s Laura:

My creative life has always been my safe haven. Usually it’s quite the other way. People say, “I’m afraid to be that vulnerable” or "I’m not good enough, anyway,” which means that their inner critic holds court in their minds and they have learned to bow to it, supplicant.

It doesn’t have to be like this. We can find profound freedom in our creativity. That’s why I lead my Haven Writing Retreats. I want to help people in their creative expression through writing, no matter where they are on the page. I have written my entire adult life, mostly in the mythic trenches of “failure” and recently from the lofty altitude of “success.” In it all, I have learned that it’s about one thing: doing the work. And that can be daunting.

While the wilderness of Montana holds the space for inspiration, I hold the space for my retreaters to step into the wilderness of their creativity — in a nurturing, safe, challenging setting. I designed a retreat that I would want to attend. In other words, it’s not about criticism or hero worship or reinforcing the tortured artist paradigm. It’s quite the opposite.

At Haven, we do a variety of writing exercises that nimble the mind, free the muse, breathe our words alive. When does life offer that? Rarely. Stepping into our creativity is often about stepping into our discomfort. It is my commitment to make that process as rich as possible. I hold the torch, maybe just a bit braver but not by much, and we enter that wilderness together. Over and over, I see people leave re-fueled, ready to create what they want to create whether it’s a book or a letter to their grandchild.

For more information, email