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2003-01-22 - 12:55 p.m.

I AM A WRITER. I realized this fact this afternoon as I had to force myself to get up from the keyboard and enter reality of dishes and diapers. I really do enter that creativity zone, feel inspired, and experience complete self adsorption and a time warp when I am writing. The only other activity that so thoroughly engrosses me is working in a darkroom with black and white photos. There are other things I like- such as stargazing, and having a hearty political debate, reading about politics, cooking, sewing, and the act of observing and taking photos. However when doing all those things I am always still very connected to the world around me; very aware of the environment. If I take out my telescope I am hyperconscious of the weather and the cold is a constant distraction. When taking pictures the mechanics get in the way as I have to think about what FStops and lighting conditions and other people and traffic . I do recall in MExico city pausing in the middle of an intersection for a photo I just HAD to take as I crossed the street. Though compelled , I was FULLY aware of those cars around me! IT is only when writing that I completely lose myself in the act of creation. I understand what Edgar Allen Poe was grappling with when he struggled with the artists loss of self in his works. That topic fascinated me and in a graduate course I enjoyed doing an in depth study of Poe's theme of the self annihilation of the artist. I can't just offer myself up like that. My husband wonders why I can't write at home. When he is not around I DO write at home. I can only do so when there are no other adults around to observe the complete and utter self absorption I find somewhat embarassing.

The kids watched PBS all morning. That fact makes me cringe and thus the reason I DO NOT write every day! I intended on writing for an hour to an hour and a half and the time just flew by as I typed away. The irony is that I sat down with a fantastic short story fully formed in my head, and decided to take just a moment to check e-mail and do some research as I need a few facts for my story's location. I have to make the setting a place other than Buffalo or D.C.! (and hope it is still credible...)

That was a BIG mistake. Got an e-mail encouraging lobbying in support of a VA bill to increase sales tax in support of education. My words flew onto that keyboard in the letters which followed... I then wrote an opinion on an article about the new Leesburg hospital in our local paper....Just on a roll giving my two cents around town.... all this IN PROCRASTINATION!

I realized though that I did write for a few hours this morning-- even more than I intended! I really do struggle with that part of me which values functional things over those which are just FUN! Time can never be wasted.... one day maybe I can say I AM A CREATIVE WRITER WITHOUT GUILT. I'm not near there yet.

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