Last week I posted about the amazing amount of writing I got done on a flight from San Francisco to New York—two blog posts and 10,000 words on the sequel to Chasing Grace: A Novel of Odd Redemption—all because I was without my normal distractions: emails, the kitties, the breakfast dishes, Words with Friends, phone calls, and my #1 Discomfort Default, Bejeweled Deluxe . (The slightest hesitation over a word or phrase, the iPod Touch almost opens itself to the Bejeweled Deluxe game and a few moments of blissful-then-nervous unconsciousness.) I promised last week to experiment with pretending I was on the plane while actually sitting at my desk, and let you know how it went.
THE RESULTS ARE IN, AND THEY ARE MIXED!
Okay, some days went really well. I did the breakfast dishes before sitting down to the computer at 7:00, closed Outlook completely and resolved not to open it until the alarm went off at 12:00, put my iPod Touch with all its Bejeweled and Words games in my desk drawer, gave the kitties a particularly sumptuous breakfast, which they chowed down and then waddled off to the bedroom for an extended nap. I sat down, imagined myself surrounded by a 747 and the Zone, opened the Chasing Grace sequel file, and ripped out 11,000 and the draft of a webinar I’ll be giving this summer. Fantastic!
Other days, I did the same prep, except that I didn’t really believe I was in an airplane. I wandered over to the window, watched the ocean pound onto a sun-soaked beach, and decided it would be horrible—a sin, really—not to go outside and enjoy the splendor of nature before the fog rolled in. Or the kitties’ circadian rhythms went haywire and they would not sleep, and stood mewing plaintively at my feet until I looked down at them, which they interpreted as an invitation to jump into my lap, and that always means crawling up onto my shoulder, which means a love fest. Or the phone rang and it was a new client. Or…you get the picture.
WHAT IT MEANS
What does this mean? Maybe it means that some days, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Maybe it means that for some inexplicable karmic reason, I wasn’t supposed to get as much done on some days as I was on others. Maybe it means that my hyper-productive hours on the plane were really just the result of an unconscious disembodiment in order to escape the boredom and discomfort of the flight. Maybe it simply means that’s how the cookie crumbles.
More likely, I suspect, it means that some days I remember, and am awake enough, to call up the Zone and surround myself with it—and other days, I’m not. And that the Zone doesn’t really care, but is always there, waiting, happy to be contacted whenever I’m ready. And maybe that’s true not just of writing, but of life.
What do you think?