Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Bohemian Life

I think we all know that I'm not a full-time writer. I'd like to be, someday, but I expect that will be in another twenty-five years, when the kids are grown and on their own and the house is paid for and, most tellingly, I'm old enough to retire from the Day Job. Then, I'll convert one of the kids' old bedrooms into an office for myself and write every day.

That's the dream, anyway. But thanks to a convergence of factors, it does look like I'm going to be able to have a taste of the writing life soon. I've set the wheels in motion and am just waiting on the bureaucracy to catch up, but when it does, I'll be working only part time at the Day Job.

It's not a drastic rearrangement, by any stretch -- I'll essentially be taking one day off every two weeks. But the plan is to ensure that at least half of that day will be devoted to writing. I did this just a couple of weeks ago -- dropped the kids off at daycare and summer camp, and then I went to our local Panera and bought a bottomless cup of coffee and a scone (I love me some strawberry scones) and I staked out one of the comfy chairs, propped the iPad on my lap, and wrote for three and a half hours. I paused to refill my coffee and have a wonderful conversation with a nearby woman who had a book I was familiar with, but mostly... I wrote.

It sounds like a cliche, I know. The bohemian lifestyle. And it kind of was, but also? It was a slice of heaven. A perfect day all the way around, really, because after I wrote, I met the Hubs for lunch and then we went to see a movie together. But honestly, spending my morning tapping out a few scenes for a current WIP was quite probably the highlight of the day. And I wanted more. I wanted to do it again.

And I will. Those days off, the mornings will be for writing. I may meet the Hubs or friends for lunch, and I may choose to go back to writing afterward or I may go to the movies or run errands or go to the gym or go home and try to make a dent in the mess or actually cook dinners that take more than twenty minutes to assemble... The real world will probably intrude on those afternoons, is what I'm saying. And that's fine, because I do tend to get burned out and need a mental recharge after three or four hours of writing.

It doesn't sound like very much, I know. Only two days a month. Not even full days -- just half-days, really, most of the time. But it's two days a month more than I have now. It's two days, bought and paid for, that I don't have to feel guilty for taking.

And those two days, they'll belong to me and my iPad and a bottomless cup of coffee... and the words.

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