Writing on the Road

Best intentions being what they are, I had fully intended to have my next packet to my MFA mentor the day before it was due, which coincided with the day we were leaving on our annual escape to warmer climes. You can already guess how that plan worked out.

Thankfully the gods of technology have my back, so here I sit, in the passenger’s seat of our truck, laptop open, editing between bumps in the road. Every so often my husband asks me, “How’s it going?” I am not sure that he really wants to know, except that the agreement is that he will drive until such point that I hit the send button and pray the data lines carry my thirty five pages off safely to their destination — on time.

Four hours in, I am almost done and happy that I will still be ahead of the deadline, even if  by just a few hours. It has been surprisingly easy to write this way which leads me to analyze why?

It is not that hard to come up with an answer. I have been unable to do much else other than the task at hand. My phone is turned off, I am captive in the same spot, the same seat, for at least the next eight hours (except for bathroom breaks), and my partner-in-escape has put our favorite music on and refrained from talking to me at all except for his few check-ins to gauge when he can hand over the wheel. I look up occasionally to watch the scenery speeding by, just enough of a break for me to refresh, then I am back to proofreading.

I joke that maybe this is how I need to write, on the road, with forced semi-isolation,  but that is the truth of it. While I write everyday and pretty much at the same time, there are changes I can, and need, to make to my routine in order to be more successfully productive in my writing.

I can list off half a dozen or more adjustments I am going to try back at my desk at home to show up whole-heartedly at the page every day. But, first and foremost I have realized that I need to take myself away from the familiar surroundings that always seem to be there nagging at me to do other daily chores. I need to isolate myself in my writing space as if I were away — on the road with nothing but a destination miles away requiring a highway of well placed words to get me to the next place.

Copyright 2017 Kathryn M. Balteff All Rights Reserved

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