I've never been to a writers' retreat or been awarded an artist's residency, and due to my particular geographical and personal situation, those experiences will not be within my reach for quite a few more years. I do sometimes wonder what I'm missing, so I enjoyed this article in Slate by Jan Swafford, called "Life in the Colonies." Who knew there were unspoken rules limiting self-promotion (though thank goodness for them) and other expectations of behavior?
Those of you with experience in artist colonies, retreats, and residencies, I'd love to hear about your experiences and assessments of the opportunities. Upside and downside and plain old anecdotes welcome.