I’ve been away from work for a glorious four days, and nothing could have been better for me.

I was able to enjoy a long day of conversation with friends and clients up at Evolve on Saturday, where Jess also gave me a box full of art supplies she wasn’t using any longer. Sunday was a great morning of gym work and cooking before a full afternoon of football and movies. On Monday I got in the longest workout of the weekend, and the pleasant surprise visit of a friend come evening who was willing and able to stay for dinner and a long conversation around the evolution of modern political parties; and I spent most of Tuesday racing around the internet catching up on a lot of news and events I’d let get away from me.

Throughout it all, I established a fantastic hour and a half of writing time each morning before doing anything else.

When I was in my hardcore fitness phase, getting up at 4:30 to hit the gym became not only natural, but comfortable.  I would miss it if I skipped a day, and grow irritable with every day that saw my schedule disrupted.

I’m planning to replace that at this point with the writing. It’s working so far, though of course today’s the minor test (returning to 9 to 5 work) and tomorrow’s the acid test (returning to the office). Still, it feels good – it feels right. And having the quiet time to myself in the morning is a better way to keep my head on straight than leaping straight from bed to shower to steering wheel.

Every successful writer I know makes, sets and keeps a schedule. They mostly get more than an hour and a half, but start somewhere and grow from there, right? Today I’m off to one last vacation indulgence – my favorite breakfast restaurant – before coming back to what I expect will be a mountain of emails from Bangalore and points East.