Thursday, September 01, 2005

The First Day

Today is my first day of self-employment, though I had already decided that I'd take the next five days (through Labor Day) as a long-needed vacation. My wife still has to work today and tomorrow, and the kids are in school, of course, but on Saturday we will be driving up to my in-laws' cabin near Payson, AZ, to spend Labor Day weekend with them*. It should be very relaxing up in the mountains, and I'm looking forward to getting a lot of writing in while just sitting on the front porch in an old wooden rocking chair. It'll be good to spend some extended time with my wife and kids since I've been travelling so much over the past five years or so.

It still hasn't sunk in, though. I still can't really believe, at a gut level, that I'll never have to go back to the office again. Intellectually I know this, of course, but I still don't really believe it. Humans are such slaves to habit, aren't we? If you go some place every day for years and years, you still expect to go there even when you no longer have to. Habit and routine evolved as a survival mechanism, I think -- by putting routine jobs on "automatic pilot," we're able to free our minds to hink of other things. I'm sure over the next several weeks it will finally sink in, but it may actually take weeks. I wonder if other writers who have taken the plunge and gone full time have felt the same way?

So, this morning I got up at the deliciously late hour of 6:30. That may not sound late, but I've been getting up before dawn for years. By 6:30 my wife is up and getting ready for work and the kids are starting to ramble in and out of our room, but that's okay with me -- I want to be up and writing so as not to waste the quiet time while they are at school. I think the hours will work out well.

My wife took the kids to school, so I saw them off, then toddled over to the shower. A nice long, hot shower later, I dried off and ambled over to the computer to write this entry. By 7:00 I was at my keyboard -- not too shabby at all, especially considering how low my streess level right now. I need to leave by 2:00 to pick up the kids, so I've got huge amounts of time to write each day. Delicious!

I still haven't really configured a "creative space" for myself. I will mostly be writing in longhand and then transferring it to computer (for now, anyway), but all the editing and revising (which takes me at least as long as writing the first draft) will be done on the laptop. My laptop's batteries only last an hour or two, so I'm not sure where I'm going to set up. I have a very nice wooden portable laptop stand (I'm using it now), so I can roll it just about anywhere -- I just need to decide where that "anywhere" is going to be.

We should all have tough choices like that, eh?

*And by the way, I should be able to access the Internet through dial-up even in the mountains, but if not, you may get Saturday, Sunday, and Monday's entries all in one batch late Monday night. Just an FYI...

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