Tara's story, "I Am Put Away for Now", spoke to us as a story of lost identity. Tara writes about her feelings of loss of self after becoming a mother -- how the actions and overwhelming commitments of parenthood supersede everything else until only "parent" is left. For a while.
How much of your life do you give to writing?
A lot of my non-family time involves writing of some kind. I’m a freelance journalist, writer, and editor. I have a regular journaling practice, which includes gratitude journaling, writing as a form of creative and daily life brainstorming, and I’m forever sampling ideas for poetry, essays, books—sometimes I even finish things, which feels great. I’m trying very hard to finish a NaNoWriMo novel this year. Fingers crossed!
What made you write this piece in particular?
That’s a little mysterious to me. I knew I wanted to submit something to Keeping It Under Wraps as soon as I read the description of the project. Years ago, as a parenting blogger, I tried to write posts that broke some stereotype and showed the raw truth about my motherhood journey, so the theme was dear to me. I drafted a few essays, but I couldn’t finish any of them. Then, right before the deadline, I was in the shower (I think this is even part of the essay) and something came back to me, this old note I’d written to myself years ago. It had nothing to do with the earlier drafts, but just like that, connections were flying, my thoughts felt clear and exciting.
I opened a new document and filled the pages with everything I had just felt. I didn’t know if it would make sense, but it was very real to me in that moment. The trick was, the deadline for the anthology was that night! I spent the next few hours trying to shape it into something I’d be proud to submit, sweating and hoping I could pull it off. I told myself: “This is what I have to write in this moment; my body is telling me so.” I did my best and hoped it would resonate. Writing this essay was completely unexpected—actually, much like parenthood, much like life.
How does this piece fit with your wider writing? Do you write in other genres?
Thinking back over my creative projects, what I often find in my writing is that I’m coming to terms with or organizing my fuzzy thoughts and big emotions. So, this piece fits right in with my other writing in that regard. But it’s not always essays for me. Emotional exploration can also take the form of poetry and fiction. I’ve written about grief, lust, relationships, and yes, other parenting experiences. I’m also a journalist, so I’ve written on, goodness, a lot of areas for newspapers, radio, websites, magazines. One thing I have loved about my career in journalism is variety. I’ve covered education, science, medicine, government, business, you name it. It really is a wonderful way to explore the world and the human experience.
How can readers further support your writing?
First of all, buy copies of Keeping It Under Wraps for everyone they know! Then, if
someone likes my work, and they want to connect, they can contact me through my website, taragiroud.com. (*rushes off to update website) My socials are set to
private, but people can send a direct message on Instagram or Facebook. And of
course, they can buy copies of publications in which my work appears. Oh, and maybe one day my novel, and the memoir that is tickling the back of my brain, will be somewhere in the world. (Agents, publishers, are you out there?)
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