Tending the New Year: A Different Way to Think About Goals

For many of us, the start of a new year means setting goals and deciding what we want to accomplish in the next twelve months. But after a year like 2020, we need to pause, consider ways to plan for our future without carrying the stress of the past or the fear of another year of unknowns. At RWC, we believe in goals and moving forward intentionally with our writing, but we also believe it may be time to turn “goal setting” on its head. Instead of thinking “go big or go home,” we’re thinking go small, go deep, and understand the home inside yourself.

In our 2021 Goals Retreat, the emphasis will still be about setting goals, but we’ll learn new ways to do it—kinder ways, with more space and grace. We’re going to “tend” the new year like we’d nurture something we love. We’re going to decide where we’d like to go by first acknowledging where we are now. We’ll grant ourselves permission to move past the disorder of 2020, not by demanding order, but by gently reordering the things that are meaningful in our lives, the things we want to keep. Using meditation, breathing exercises, the experience of labyrinths, writing prompts, tools for goal-setting, and perhaps most important, quiet time for personal reflection, this retreat is offered as a respite and balm, a chance to think ahead without distractions into the new year’s beautiful potential.

Join RWC director, Sandy Coomer, and writing coach and labyrinth facilitator, Terry Price, for a weekend of discovery as we set goals that honor both the head and the heart.

Date: Friday, January 1 to Sunday, January 3, 2021
Cost: $400.00 (tax included) We will not collect payment until closer to the retreat date.
Includes: 2 nights in a private bedroom/bathroom suite, access to RWC common areas, gardens, and hiking trails, 5 meals with wine at dinner, 4 workshops, special gifts, community with other writers, and tools to explore and celebrate the potential waiting for us in 2021.
Thoughts about Health and Safety: Depending on the status of the pandemic, we will implement careful procedures with cleaning, face coverings, and social distancing. RWC is large enough that we can spread out and safely hold this retreat. The number of retreaters is limited to 7. Please read our Covid policies and precautions for more information.

Tentative Schedule:

4:00 to 6:00 pm – Check-in / settle in
6:00 p.m. – Dinner and Hellos
7:00 p.m. – Introductions, Overview of Retreat, First Workshop
9:00 p.m. – Free time / Bedtime


6:30 a.m. – Coffee Ready!
7:00 a.m. – Breakfast is available. Come anytime you’re ready.
8:30 a.m. – Workshop
10:00 a.m. – Free Time for Writing / Exploring / Personal Reflection
12:00 p.m. – Lunch
1:00 p.m. – Free Time for Writing / Exploring / Personal Reflection
6:00 p.m. – Dinner
7:00 p.m. – Workshop
8:30 p.m. – Reading – Share your Writing (Sharing is optional; however, we ask that you attend whether you read or not, in order to support other writers.)
10:00 p.m. – Free Time / Bedtime


6:30 a.m. – Coffee Ready
7:00 a.m. – Breakfast is available. Come anytime you’re ready
8:30 a.m. – Workshop
10:00 a.m. – Free Time for Writing / Exploring / Personal Reflection
11:00 p.m. – Check-out and Goodbye


Terry Price is a Tennessee based writer, creative coach, Certified Veriditas trained labyrinth facilitator, and photographer, with an MFA in writing from the Spalding School of Creative and Professional Writing in Louisville and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the Nashville School of Law. He is a former Program Director and current faculty in MTSU Write (formerly The Writer’s Loft) creative writing program at Middle Tennessee State University. Terry works with creatives one-on-one online and in-person and leads workshops and retreats on creativity, writing, photography, and using the labyrinth as both a spiritual and creative tool.

A self-described lifestyle photographer, his portfolio includes street, landscape, and travel photography and he has finished shooting travel photos for the fourth in a series of five poetry/photography ekphrastic exhibits and books. His photos have been exhibited around the Southeast and Midwest and have accompanied pieces in various journals, newspapers, and magazines and sold to individuals. Terry’s writing has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and his piece “The Addition of Clouds” was published in the anthology, Wisdom From Others: Life Lessons From Loss in November, 2019. You can learn more about Terry and his work through his website www.terryprice.net and through Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Sandy Coomer is a poet, artist, Ironman triathlete, and social entrepreneur from Nashville, TN. Over 150 pieces of Sandy’s art have been published in print and online journals and she has been featured in local art shows and exhibits. Her poetry has been published in numerous journals and she is the author of three poetry chapbooks and a full-length collection, Available Light (Iris Press). Another full-length collection, The Broken Places, is forthcoming from Saddle Road Press in fall 2021. She is a multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee and her poem, “Calligraphy” was a 2019 Best of the Net finalist. Sandy is a past poetry mentor in the AWP Writer to Writer Mentorship Program and the founding editor of the online poetry journal Rockvale Review.

Sandy cohosts Black Dog Poetry Open Mic and Rockvale Poetry Book Club and is the founder and director of Rockvale Writers’ Colony in College Grove, TN, a not-for-profit organization that exists to support and educate writers of all genres and backgrounds. She is a self-professed “idea” person, as well as a teacher, a dreamer, and an explorer. Her favorite word is “believe.” Learn more about Sandy at www.sandycoomer.com.