Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Writing Away

For many of us who have to work in "normal" jobs to pay the bills, time away to write is a treasured thing. No phone, minimal email contact, peace and quiet. Some writers go to residential retreats where everyone there is writing and the atmosphere is one of intensity and production and inspiration. Or possibly days and days of staring at a blank screen! Others take the opportunity to find a place far from the madding crowd - a motel or bed & breakfast or wood hut - and write alone.

But when you try to combine writing with other "away" things, like family and outings and social events, trouble can strike. Other people wonder why you're hiding from them, or being unsociable. Or else you go along with everything and everyone and writing doesn't happen. After a busy semester of teaching and hours of infuriating paperwork, I couldn't wait to get away from it all and find some sanity and headspace again. Yet here I am, five days in, and I haven't written a thing.

However, I have caught up with family news, spent wonderful hours with them all, and been for many inspiring walks. I'm sleeping better than I have for weeks, and hardly thinking about work at all. And I have been thinking about my novel (in its second major revision) and mulling over various changes and gaining character insights. I've read over most of the revised chapters and feel I am on the right track at last. Tomorrow will be a writing day, between walking, coffee and conversation. It's all good!


Anonymous said...

It's a tough balance to strike, Sheryl, especially when part of you probably needs a bit of a break and time to just indulge in family for a while (especially after all that paperwork!). But no doubt the space has been good for your story, so when you do get that time to write, it will all roll from you fingers. I hope so!


Sheryl Gwyther said...

LOvely positive blog entry, Sherryl. It is important to have the time to write and to take the time to enjoy family and friends as well. I can remember spending hours 'slaving' over a painting and telling my four year old to make himself a sandwich for lunch (I didn't want to stop what I was doing). Now, he's 22 and I'd give anything to have him drop in for a sandwich with me. He does, but not as much as I'd like. Sigh.

Lorraine said...

Fantastic, Sherryl. Enjoy the break and the catch-up time with your family. The writing will surface - erupt in fact - when the time's right.