We recently took a road trip to Naramata to visit friends and join in a birthday celebration. We’d been planning the trip for weeks, so the details were well organized: ferry schedules consulted, route mapped out, and hotels booked.
On the day of the trip, I dropped a note on Facebook and Twitter to let folks know I’d be away then packed up my computer thinking I might sneak in some writing time. Lynn, our intrepid house and pet minder, arrived and we were soon on the road with the Cave Master at the wheel.
Shortly after we boarded the ninety-minute ferry to Horseshoe Bay, I went up to the passenger deck, took a quick tour of the gift shop, visited the loo and grabbed a tea. Then I headed back down to the car deck, settled into the passenger seat and pulled my computer into my lap.
My desktop lit the screen and I hesitated. My fingers hovered uncertainly over the keyboard. I’m not accustomed to going directly to Word and calling up my WIP. It’s ridiculous how happy that made me, and for the first time in eons, I just wrote.
With no Internet, there was no pit stop at Facebook or Twitter. No need to answer emails or catch up on reading blogs. As an added bonus, there were no weeds to taunt me, no meals to cook, no dust bunnies playing hide and seek…I didn’t even have to drive. I had nothing else to do and nowhere else to be. I can’t remember the last time I felt that free to simply write.
The unexpected windfall came in the form of an “ah ha” moment—the rare kind that make you stop and take note. Guilt-free writing time is what I strive for each day. It’s why I take care of my email, Facebook and Twitter first; I thought I’d been clearing out the head space I needed to write. But writing on the ferry made me realize my routine wasn’t working.
It also made me realize this “guilt” I feel is entirely of my own making. It has become an anchor and I need to cut the line! I’m going to work on changing my mindset and make my writing time a guilt-free time zone. I’m sure it’s easier said than done, but I’m motivated now. I’m so much happier and more productive when guilt isn’t riding on my shoulder.