Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Steal Me Away

by Tamara Girardi

The title for this post was inspired by the TV show Dallas. You remember it I'm sure.

My husband and I have been watching the seasons for a while. We go through spurts, watching for a few hours a day, and then not watching again for months. Let's face it, it's not the best show ever, but it possesses a train wreck quality, doesn't it?

Recently, I spent a night away from home. My husband was watching Dallas, and we were texting back and forth. I was stranded at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, my brain being held hostage by mounds of peer-reviewed, scholarly readings and endless homework.

I mean it. Endless.

In any case, you might recall the character Afton Cooper sang at a night club for a while, and she often belted out a song, of which the main lyrics were: "Steal me Away. . ."

My husband and I sometimes mock the song by shouting the lyrics out of nowhere, and we both laugh. Now, the joke's on me as life has stolen me away from my writing. Deep sigh.

But I'm still writing. I'm writing thought and application responses to the aforementioned readings. I'm writing a technology paper on incorporating Twitter into classroom instruction. I'm writing an exploration paper on what constitutes data. I'm writing the transcript for a YouTube video that I plan to use in a group presentation.

What I miss is the writing that requires I spend some time with my characters in darkened rooms during ghost hunts I attend only in my mind. I guess it's a good thing to miss your characters. But I'm also wondering if it's a good thing to be stolen away sometimes (please forgive the passive voice).

So rather than postulate any more than I already do every day as part of my PhD education, I'd like to throw out a few questions for discussion.

Do you find stealing yourself away from your writing for a while helps your process? If so, how long's a while? Is there a danger in being away too long and losing any momentum or thoughts you may have had the last time you were immersed in the project?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts...


Annette said...

Tamara, you left off your byline!

I don't know that taking time away from my writing does anything other than make me cranky. If I take time off from one project, I need to have another one to work on instead.

Joyce said...

I added your byline, Tamara.

Sometimes being away from your characters is good. When I'm itching to get back to them, I'm very productive when I get back to writing again.

Tamara said...

Hey, Joyce and Annette! I miss you and all the sibs! Thanks for putting on my byline, Joyce. I just realized in the shower I'd left it off and was logging on to change it.

Cranky? That could probably explain things.

Jennie Bentley said...

I too get cranky if I go too long without writing (something). That said, sometimes a few days break might be just the thing to get some perspective and start fresh. I just spent two weeks in Norway when I didn't write anything. By which I mean that I didn't add words to the manuscript. I thought about the plot and the characters and about other things I might want to write, though, so it wasn't like I wasn't working. There's a lot that goes into a book, and putting the words down on paper (or screen) is just part of it.