Writing is such an important part of my day that if I don’t get to it, I’m constantly distracted, as if I have a lover I’m thinking about. It’s like a siren’s call, pulling me away. My husband notices it. He comments on me seeming drifty. He’s right. I’m just not there. As happened today.
The discipline of writing an hour or more a day pulls me into myself—gives me the contemplative part I need, the balance. Writing the kind of stories I do keeps me in touch with life’s strangeness, the unfathomable mysteries. Realistic stories I enjoy, but they usually focus on the everyday, on what we can see in our surface ego view. Many of my stories take another perspective, as if I’m looking at the world from the underside, showing what’s there but not normally perceived. I want to get more of this into my work (fiction and poetry), and it’s why writing can be so much fun.
There’s also a psychological component for me. At the same time as I’m creating something others can read and enjoy, I’m working something through emotionally or intellectually for myself. My short story “Spirit of the Law” shows the character refusing to be locked in to a masculine-dominated world of business. She may be doomed to haunt the halls of Johnson et al as a ghost, but there are ways to bring all that’s left out into those walls. It’s not a done deal. The character can take charge and get what she wants. To the degree that this character refers to some trait in me, this obsessive side to my personality can let loose of the restraints she’s put on herself, living in such a restrained way, living through others.
I hope you join me by writing into your life as well!