Monday, November 16, 2009

Me Time

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!)

And then, mecca.

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?


Skylar Kade said...

I would lie in bed. All. Day. Maybe get food delivered, and just alternate between sleep and watching good movies. With good company, of course ;) Actually, that kinda sounds like my planned Thanksgiving break *five more days!*


Erin Nicholas said...

Kate, I'm SO jealous! What a Fabulous day!!!
For me... I would combine your day and Skylar's *G* I would lounge- a lot- I'm quite good at it! And I would write!!
It's tough to find that down time. Sometimes I seriously play hooky--- take the day off from work when the kids have to be in school and hubby has to work *g*
Guilt? What's guilt?

Meg Benjamin said...

What a lovely idea! I remember Powell's Books from a conference in Portland a few years ago. I had to hike all the way down from Portland State, but it was worth it!

PG Forte said...

If I were going to treat myself, I think I'd drive up to Calistoga for a mud bath and maybe hit a few wineries along the way.

But a good, solid day spent at my computer doing nothing but writing (with an endless supply of coffee--of course! an no interruptions...) that would be enough to keep me happy.

Maia Strong said...

It was a great day all around, indeed! I'm so glad you were able to join up with us for it. Did you get that last half-chapter done after you got home last night? I know you were soooooo close!

Had my donut for breakfast. Bacon maple bar even better with fresh coffee. *sigh*

Sydney Somers said...

That sounds like such a blast, Kate. Totally envious here. As for a "just for me" day, I'd want to spend it curled up with a good book or two and some yummy snacks.

Kate Davies said...

It was definitely fun! And yes, Maia, the bacon maple bar made an excellent breakfast. :)

PG, I might have to stow away on your spa visit. Sounds heavenly!

And the idea of lounging for a day - with some wonderful books and maybe a great movie or two - is my idea of a perfect day.

Thanks for commenting, everyone!