A couple weeks ago, I was on my way to watch my husband compete in the World Food Championships. It was a huge opportunity for him, but also provided us 2 12 hour drives where I could get loads and loads of writing time in, time which most people who write who also have day jobs would drool over.
I didn’t take my computer.
Why? Because over the course of many anxiety-ridden afternoons, obsessive glances at my Amazon rank, and countless instances of what-should-I-be-doing-right-nows, I realized something: I don’t want to miss my life while reaching for my goals. Of course, goals are important: extremely so. But if I had had my nose at my computer during those precious hours, I would have missed the quiet of the desert, the charm of the old mining towns, the randomness of Utah billboards, and most of all, those precious uninterrupted conversations with my husband. Because while goals may help give a map to your life, its those things that happen when you let yourself be open to them that give it meaning. So I implore you, dear writers, to remember that in order to write well, you have to live well. When you reach the end of your days, are you going to wish you had written one more story? Perhaps. But you’re going to miss hearing the crunch of your own footsteps on the desert rock and the fascination on your husband’s face much, much more.
So, close that computer screen, and give yourself something to write about.