Yesterday I played hooky from home.
A group of friends who are all participating in National Novel Writing Month had planned a rolling write-in for the day, where we'd hop on the train, write like mad during the trip, then bop around Portland until the train ride home.
As luck would have it, the train goes right through my town. So I packed up my laptop, bought a ticket, and joined them on their adventure.
See, this particular group of women all live in the same area, about an hour and a half from where I live. And while I join in the discussions online, I miss 95% of the get-togethers and write-ins because they're such a distance. (Three hours of driving for one and a half hours of writing is not the most efficient use of limited time.)
So the opportunity to participate in this excursion was too good to pass up.
The train arrived in my town right on time, so I schlepped the laptop on board and started searching for the group. They'd already staked out a table and were working madly as I set up. For the next hour-plus the only sound at the table was the clatter of keyboards being used, interspersed with brief comments like, "What's another word for (blank)?" or "I really, really like this character."
Once in Portland we stowed the laptops and headed downtown for lunch and conversation, followed by a visit to Voodoo Donuts. (An amazing, mouthwatering menu. Highly recommended!)
Set four writers loose in the city block that is Powell's Books for an hour or two? Brilliant.
Then we toasted our day at a little pub that was walking distance from the train station before settling in for the writing journey home.
It's been a long time since I did something like this - just taken time for me, spending the day with friends, really focusing on the writing. And it's fair to say that I enjoyed every minute of it. I was with a great group of people doing things I really love to do - eat, write, and buy books. :) (And donuts, of course.)
And though it'll be a while before I can fit another day like this into my busy schedule, I know how important it is to do that from time to time. Because taking a day just to have fun and focus on me helps me be a better mom, wife, employee, and, yes, writer.
It's all about balance. And I'm so glad I had yesterday to remind me of that.
If you had a free day just for you, what would be on your agenda? How do you carve out "Me Time" from your busy life?