Writing Away From Home

I’m in Nashville, which is beautiful and warm (although pretty much anything is probably warm compared to Portland) and would be perfect in every way except for….the pollen.

Which has me sneezing and my eyes running and itching in a way I’ve never quite experienced before.  It still does not affect my love for this city, however (just don’t tell Nashville that I had a brief fling with Asheville, okay?)

The beginning of the week was full of Loft-related activities, and the past two days I’ve been at Sue and Walt’s, dog sitting the beloved Juni, who sleeps on my bed every night.  She is about twice as big as my pug, so she takes up a bit more of it than I am used to, but I don’t mind.  I love having her with me, and she makes the best security system in the world.  (Note to Sue and Walt: the non-canine alarm does seem to be working).

While tonight and tomorrow night are taken up with more Loft-related activities, the past two days have been mine.  And, when not busy corralling four other writers so that I could submit a proposal for a panel for the AWP conference next year, I’ve been writing.

But it strikes me that writing is different when one is away from home.  I feel like I’m getting a lot done, like I have more time and more freedom.  The truth of the matter is I have just as many things pulling at me here–the AWP proposal, a forced marched into downtown Nashville yesterday to see my friend Suzanne, dinner with Melinda last night, manuscripts to critique and so on and so forth.  And there are dishes and clothes to wash and Juni to walk.  Life is nearly as complicated as it is at home, and yet it doesn’t seem so.

For some reason it feels like the day flows easier when I’m away from home.  I eat at different times, and walk at different times, and eat different things and walk different places (of course).  And so the writing seems to flow easier, too.

I suppose this is in part the psychology of a writing retreat–minus the responsibility to do anything but write.  But even being here, still with responsibilities, it feels easier to write.  So I guess the moral of the story is to travel whenever you can–especially if it give you time to write.

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