GETTING OFF THE PATH

              Often is the time that a creative person is tempted to get off course from her creative work.  I am speaking mainly about women who want a creative life. I think it is most often women who can get waylaid by other demands of life, though certainly not only women who can let this happen.  However, women primarily because we have, either by nature or nurture, learned to think of others first.  In practical terms that can mean our children’s demands, our husband’s or lover’s needs, our community’s needs so often cause us to put aside our creative callings.

              By nature’s design, we bear the children, and that very fact does satisfy a very strong creative urge.  Our child or children are the most wondrous creations of all.  Because we held them in our bodies, and then in our arms, we think of these creations as our own.  Whether or not this is wholly true is certainly debatable.  That we have contributed is not. In any case, this creates in most of us, a strong sense of responsibility, which is sometimes but not always shared by the father.  He did not grow this child in his own body thus his responsibility comes from another source—other ways that his own child bonds with him.  He contributed half of the biological make-up of that child but he did not give birth.  He comes to his recognition of his part of the creative process inherent in being a parent in less obvious ways. 

              In this, he is able to disentangle himself more easily when it comes to developing his other creative urges.  For a woman to disentangle from her children in favor of other creative urges is not so easily done. She is predisposed to hear the call of her children for all of her life and theirs.

              So she brings to the table her sense of connectedness.  She’s been trained from the beginning to do so. Whether this is the call of nature or whether she learns it is the subject of many who would debate it.  I just know how strongly it satisfies much of our creative urge.

              And so does the nesting.  We care about the homes we live in because our children live there and when they are grown we go on caring in the way that most men do not.  Even if we never had children we still nest.  It extends to our communities, too.  We want a better, safe community for all the people we love to live in.

              When or how with all these callings do we also find time to create art, music, books, poems and myriads of other forms of creativity?

                The answer to this is focus.  Anyone who produces creatively is going to have to focus and refocus over and over again.  This pertains to everyone, male or female.

              My thought is that it is much easier for men to do this, but certainly not impossible for women.

              I’m writing a book, a novel, and I have strayed so often from my purpose.  I come back to it always, with renewed plans to finish, but acknowledge the distractions that so often lie in my path. I’m almost finished with my first draft and I will keep the focus I need to in order to complete what I have started.  It has taken years, but I do not give up. I will not.

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