We advise artists and writers to have balanced expectations about coming on retreat.
Everyone’s creative process is different as every individual is different.
What we wish for you when you come on retreat to La Muse is to leave rested, but also clear on what it is you are trying to create.
Again, we feel a retreat should give you balance and a break from the noise of regular life so that you can clear your mental desktop.
The set-up is self-service, which means you will cook and clean for yourself, as you would in your own home or as a house guest in someone’s home.
Those who are self-motivated and easy-going make the best fit.
Though the vibe at the house is comfortable and informal, we are very serious about what we do and expect residents to respect the retreat guidelines we’ve implemented.
It benefits everyone.
We live in a house next door with our three kids, and our dog Homer. Homer’s great hiking companion, experienced in walking all the long trails with our writers and artists.
You’ll see us working around the house, in the gardens, or in our offices at the house. Our kids are often with us. You’ll get to know all of us!
Our sole purpose is to provide a space in which artists and writers can work on specific projects. Our focus is on getting work done, not on tourism.
Those looking for time away from it all in order to focus and concentrate on their creative work will make for an ideal match.
Fresh air, fun, good food, interesting people and introductions are a lovely bonus.
As much as we want to encourage all artists and writers to come to La Muse, we also want to encourage participants who will excel within and contribute to a productive environment.
Our corner of the world has been called the Cinderella of France. It’s not like the rest of France. It’s the least touristed, least populated part of the country, even if La Cite in Carcassonne is supposed to be the second most visited site in France after the Eiffel Tower.
So, though this is France, it is Southern France, and though it’s the South of France, we don’t mean Provence.
Shops, banks and even bakeries (boulangeries) can be closed for up to three hours for lunch (just when you need bread for a sandwich).
Even some of the restaurants close for lunch, depending on the day.
Some shops are sometimes inexplicably closed during their own business hours, even when those hours are posted on their own door.
There are various holidays and strikes in France that can make for some unpredictability, especially in May.
French plumbers, who are in short supply, go on vacation for a month (as do electricians, etc).
Not many people speak English. For those who don’t speak French, don’t worry. A simple bonjour, merci and hand movements go a long way.
Please remember that if you are coming from another country there is always a transition period and that many things do not work like they do in your home country (including more mundane activities like shopping for groceries, etc.).
It seems to take people anywhere from a day to a week to settle in.
We consider this to be part of the experience of getting away from “regular” lives and routines, but it also requires patience and a clear sense of purpose.
That said, Languedoc is one of the most historically and culturally rich parts of France, and well worth reading about before your visit.
Here’s a video of us talking briefly about the Languedoc below.
People love it here. Again and again, we enjoy repeat residents, referrals, and even new neighbors who first came to the region via La Muse. We are sure you will have as rich and productive experience.