Remember that feeling on the last day of school? Remember stepping off of the school bus and knowing you didn't have to worry about classes for three whole blissful months? Remember the weight lifting from your shoulders as you absorbed the fact that your grades were in and there was nothing left for you to do about them?
Just savor that memory for a moment, soak it in. Pretty nice, isn't it?
Well, let me tell you, if you like that feeling, do not become a writer.
When your career is built around taking things out of your brain and putting them on paper, it's literally impossible to get away. Even if you take a day, or a week, "off" from work, your writing is there, pestering you in the back of your mind. "Does that plot twist make sense?" "Do I introduce that character too early?" "How should I wrap up that chapter?" It goes with you everywhere. Forget homework, writing is everywherework.
Not that I'm complaining. There are lots of jobs that are just as all encompassing, and I can't imagine one that's better than writing. Still, sometimes I miss that feeling.
My husband has the other kind of job--the kind that you literally can't bring home with you. Sure, he doesn't get that same carefree summer vacation feeling that we got as kids, but at least when he gets a long weekend, like this weekend, he actually gets time away from work.
I'll take some time off this weekend too, of course, but every moment that I'm not working, I'll know that I should be.
Our long weekend plans include a trip to (sniff sniff) Borders. This will definitely be a bittersweet visit because our Borders is one of the hundreds of stores that will soon close. Now, since it is up in Whitehall, Borders was never someplace we visited regularly (that area is far too congested for my taste), but it's always sad to see a bookstore close, regardless of size and/or location.
This Borders was good enough to host the Bethlehem Writers Group for two book signing events--one in 2009, one in 2010--and, alas, I was unable to attend either one. (One of the benefits, and curses, of having multiple authors in a book is the fact that there are often concurrent signings at different locations.)
Looks like my opportunity to sign at Borders, at least the one in Whitehall, has passed, and I'm sorry for it. Still, we'll drop by sometime this weekend to say farewell.
And then I'll go back to writing.
Happy long weekend, everyone!