Are you really doing Nothing?

Being a writer is a full-time position. Are you still a writer when you are not, at that moment, writing? The answer is a resounding YES. An artist is always working. The process of being a writer or any other artist continues around the clock. The artist interacts with the world around her or him. The thoughts, fantasies, and even dreams that pass through the artist’s brain are all part of the creative process. The observations of the world are all material for future–or even current–works of art.

All the things you do are part of your art.

Here is a poem from my recent book Voice Versa

Writer at Work

I sit—perfectly still

Staring at the ceiling.

I’m working.

I pick up a word

By its delicate wings

And place it

Still fluttering

On the page.

I’m working.

I look at it,

Shake my head,

And take the innocent word back again.

I’m working.

I stare at a passerby,

Describing in my mind

The walk, the clothing, mood.

I’m working.

I sleep, tossed by fantasies and dreams.

I’m working.

I throw down rivers, spoonfuls, great mouthfuls of language—

Carving, shaping, reaching.

My loins fill with electricity,

My eyes with tears,

When a phrase is born

And dances for me naked.

I’m working.

You read me.

I see you smile.

My heart sings.

I’m working.


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