I had such a lovely writing day today.
I don’t take any of my writing time for granted: it took years for me to pluck up the courage to put pen to paper at all, and when I was teaching full time I rarely had the headspace to write anything longer than flash fiction, or sometimes a bad poem.
Getting stuff written has moved much higher up my list of priorities since I became a mum, but between entertaining a three year old and a growing smorgasbord of employment it can still be hard to find the time. I’m still working on making mornings work, and otherwise guiltily catching up during Arthur’s afternoon nap when I should really be focusing on the rest of my to-do list.
Today, though, was different.
I dropped Arthur off at forest school at 9.15. That may seem like an innocuous statement, but it was actually the first time we’d left him with anyone other than my folks, and the first time he’d been in an ‘educational setting’ for longer than the hour his gym class lasts. I wasn’t worried: the couple of sessions I’ve been to with him convinced me that it was exactly the sort of environment I wanted him to be spending his time in. Still, though, his wobbling lip and wide eyes almost weakened my resolve.
But I have a deadline to keep. And I’ve already put it back twice.
I wandered off through the little village of Stoke Gabriel, heading for a cafe by the waterfront. It was such a beautiful morning that I decided to start off outside, pitching myself up with my laptop on a bench overlooking the weir. There’s definitely a lot to be said for not being tied to my desk.
After the first few hundred words, I decided I needed a coffee. So inside, for a flat white and a glass of water and a few more hundred words.
Then when I hit a wall again, I went for another meander. I didn’t really know where I was going, but I figured it would be difficult to get lost. I found a bench, up above the road with a view down towards the river, just at the point when the next flash of inspiration hit, so I stayed there for a while.
My last port of call was a pub, for a pint of lime and soda and a little burst of internet. Despite being connected to the world I still managed to get something written, ending my morning’s mobile session at 2,669 words.
What was especially wonderful was that I hadn’t had to rush. I had almost four hours of writing time in total, broken up by walks to kick my brain into gear again. And in that time I could let my mind wander too, and find new ideas in my daydreams.
I’m not sure how often I will have days like today – in the time I was gifted or the headspace to use it well – but I am grateful for this one I had.
And, at the end of it, I am that little bit closer to achieving my goal…
Oh that sounds amazing!! And Stoke Gabriel is such a pretty spot! I grew up in a village just the other side of Dartmouth so it’s a spot I know well even though I’m a long way from the sea now!
I love this, Sophie! The mobile office, that amazing view, the coffee and soda, all while tapping out 2K+ words. Believe me when I say I know how the heart aches at those wobbling lips. My son who is now 4.5 has trouble separating at his 3 morning a week preschool. Even though I trust that I’m leaving him in a loving and nurturing environment, it’s still hard. Lately he’s had an easier time, which lifts my heart, but either way, whether I leave in tears or a smile, I must leave because I also have to take care of myself.
Lovely post Sophie and I’m so jealous that you get to write by a lake. What a great view. It can’t fail to be inspiring, plus all that fresh air too.
That sounds perfect. But how on earth do you work outside and see the screen on your laptop? I tried to sit in the garden at the weekend and spent so much time squinting at the screen I gave up. Must need a better laptop
Brilliant day all round I’d say! I know exactly what you mean by not taking any writing time for granted. Best of luck with your deadline xx
What a gorgeous setting, I now have laptop envy as I’m tied to my big mac (no fries) at home! I can see why you felt inspired and having that peaceful head space is bliss isn’t it. #whatimwriting
Oh that sounds like an amazing day! Four whole hours and the freedom to travel, and the weather to sit outdoors… not to mention the inspiration! Perfect! Thanks for linking to #WhatImWriting
Oh my goodness, that sounds an amazingly lovely morning of writing Sophie! My trouble is I always write at home, I get distracted and find it hard to focus. But then I’d feel guilty about coffee shop spending if I went out. Maybe I should think about the library though…hmm, that’s a thought! Xx