I’ve always considered myself something of an adventurer. Wandering around a foreign city was my idea of paradise, and I did this as much as time and money and raising small children allowed. I promised myself that when I finally had a teaching sabbatical, I’d take the family to France: shake up the routines, consolidate the French immersion schooling, see how small and friendly the world can be…you know, an adventure.
But a few years ago when I got serious about writing, something changed. My curiosity shifted from What’s out there? to What’s in here? I don’t mean that I took up navel-gazing or went on a spiritual quest. It’s just that, as it turns out, writing thrives less on the thrills of the open road and more on…sameness. Routine. Slowing down.
So here comes the long-awaited sabbatical, and there is no flat rented in Paris. No visits planned with friends in India. No river cruises booked with the mother-in-law. I haven’t even applied to more than the usual number of conferences. My plan for the year is to head straight to the same cafe as always. Take the same seat at the public library. The same park bench, weather permitting.
At the end of the year I won’t have a list of exotic and inspiring places I’ve visited or exciting new experiences I’ve tried. But (knock wood) I’ll have one heckuva word count.