I’ve been traveling for the last two weeks. On the road across the US of A. I’ve made pit stops at my cousin’s house, where she and her husband have just welcomed a new baby boy, and my father’s house, so I could finalize details for my sister’s bridal shower this September. In between changing diapers and making food for my sleep-deprived cousin, I thought there’d be time to write. While I was visiting with family and friends in my hometown, and conscripting vendors into service for the shower, I thought I’d be able to write and get caught up on my reading.
I knew the trip would be disruptive to my writing schedule. I thought if I brought my notebooks and reading materials, I’d fit it in whenever I had a spare moment. I would start researching my next WIP and brush up on short stories by working my way through a contemporary story anthology. I thought as long as I packed everything up with the expectations that I’d still be able to get things done, I’d be ok.
Boy, was I wrong.
This isn’t to say I haven’t accomplished anything since I hit the road… But like that second trip to the salad bar, my eyes were bigger than my stomach. I’ve been able to keep up with the blog posting – more or less – mostly thanks to the post scheduler feature, but just barely. I’ve been able to do some light revising at the coffee shop near my dad’s house, but getting away is difficult.
You see, I feel guilty for wanting to get away to work when the object of my trip is to visit with my family. I can’t always write in the house because I risk interruptions by family members and then there’s always the distraction of House Hunters marathons – at my house, we got rid of cable for that very reason. Plus, I don’t want to deal with questions like ‘What are you working on?’ and watch my dad trying to be supportive even as I can see the wheels turning in his head, the doubts he can’t always hide. He’s human, and he’s right to be skeptical. I just don’t want to have to deal with it.
So my progress has slowed. I’ve generated no new content besides the occasional blog post, and it’s getting to me. I’ve missed two writing group sessions – and I can tell. I miss my routine. I miss writing. And even though I don’t have the flexibility to work the way I want to while I’m traveling – I’m scribbling this Tuesday morning (4/20/10) in a coffee shop before I have to meet my dad for lunch – just knowing how out of sorts I feel after an extended period of not writing is hugely comforting.
Because I know what I want to be doing every day. And it’s a relief to know that my writing has become such an integral part of my life.
Friday night, I will finally be pulling into my driveway, and it can’t be soon enough. Even though my intentions to stay productive on my trip were ultimately unrealistic, I have a lot to look forward to besides the resumption of my writing routine. First, I’ll be joining another writing group. Instead of focusing on weekly writing prompts like my current group (which I’ll still be participating in), the new group is focused on monthly critique sessions with the goal of publication. Second, I’m attending my first writing conference. It’s local, so it’s not of the scale as some of those you hear about, but I’m optimistic I’ll get something out of it.
Hopefully both these things will jumpstart my writing energies as I recover from my two weeks on the road. Details will be forthcoming.