On taking a break
And, no, I don’t mean a break from my dissertation. That monolith of literature I’m still chugging along on my revisions. I’m trying desperately to get my adviser prescribed revisions done before the 19th so I can have plenty of time to handle whatever strangeness my advisor sends my way (and there will be strangeness—he’s waited until the night before giving talks at major conferences to give me some concept smashing data and asked me to “just stick it in”).
No, I mean a break from the writing that I love to do. My poor work in progress is sitting on my hard drive collecting electrons and looking back at me feebly every time I skip right over that folder to click on PhD.
And I’m scared. I’m worried that when I finally open that folder up again I won’t love it anymore. And I loved that story—I mean *loved* that story. Usually, I wouldn’t be able to stay away from something like that, but this dissertation thing has been years in the making. It must take priority… but now I don’t even remember some of the secondary character’s names. Some of the details are starting to fade. Who was I going to kill and why? What hints did I lay? What hints did I still have waiting in my tangled bucket of trouble? How did I plan to solve the big bad problem? Oh crap, what was the big bad problem?
Yeah, I have notes… Okay, not many, but that’s not what worries me. I’m afraid that by taking a break the spark that I had—the burning need to write that silly story—will have fled me. I worry that I’ll just be ho-hum by the time I get to the end of my dissertation, and I’ll never feel like I used to about my writing in waiting.
So what about all of you, have any of you ever set something aside? What happened when you got back to it? Did you still love it?