Remember, you’re officially off the clock…

That’s the sign above the twelfth deck tanning area on the Norwegian Spirit cruise ship. It’s just as hard to take that stance as a writer just as it would be hard to tell it your mind stop thinking. I’ve grown used to the rocking of the boat, though at its size and our speed it can get slightly noticeable at times. But the one thing that I just can’t seem to get used to is the fact that I’m not stuck at a desk where it only makes sense to write down every thought that occurs to me in terms of novel work.

Then again, I seem to retain the ideas I have here better than usual. I actually remembered an idea that pertained to one piece of writing that I had forgotten weeks ago. I pulled the document up and slipped the idea where it belonged. The simple way that I can just drop into one of these straw deck chairs and write (even when there’s easily one hundred and fifty beautiful, scantily clad women around) tells me something very important: Though I want writing to be my work—though writing is hard work—it’s not the kind of work I go on vacation and want to put away and off my mind. It’s not the kind of occupation that I think allows you to do that. That’s not how it works.

Right now it’s 3:37 AM local time off the coast of Honduras and we’re entering our fifth day on out. Oddly enough I’m alone at the top of a ship with several thousand people on it. I haven’t done nearly as much reading as I expected to do. I did read a little fan fiction and I had time to watch the remainder of Being Human on the ride to New Orleans where we caught the boat. I’ve had internet access, thus far, exactly one time since we left the U.S. and that was in a Starbucks in Cozumel, Mexico. I don’t miss the internet as much as I miss the ease it gave writing. When I needed a fact I just looked it up. What I miss most are the people I talked to. My last stint online was spent gathering up a recent version of a story to look over, but that only took a second. I spent more time just messaging my friends. I only sent maybe five messages, two of them business related. But those people I really missed were the ones I had to send something to. Even if I had just talked to them two days earlier.

And we’re not truly without the ability to get online. For .75 cents a minute you can log onto the ship’s wifi and the ship has some strange, almost magical, ability to boost a cell phone signal out and make regular calls at a high premium. My phone hasn’t been charged since day one and it’s still carrying that charge because it’s been off. Honestly if it were slightly cheaper I would jump on it and update some things, but there’s something special about waiting to get home to read the replies. If I get another Starbucks in Roatan, I’m taking advantage.

For now there’s my real writing to get back to, that and the fan fiction I’ve been working on. I want to get some rest and reading in tomorrow. More than anything I want to gain some mileage on this e-book. I know some might think it’s work. But it keeps my mind off of the people I miss and it’s work I enjoy.

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One thought on “Remember, You’re Officially Off the Clock

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