As time goes on, it seems more difficult to separate writing from life. In fact the demarcations are so finite that I don’t often attempt to split them apart. I have drawn the line recently for example when my wife and I went out to eat for our anniversary. If there is a point of separation, it would tend to come at times when we are doing something together. Still, her presence in the same room alone will not stop the clock.
Besides the physical act of writing, there are many periods of time that my mind is divided and sharing space with what is happening around me. I have found it beneficial to allow myself to receive events and conversations each day within the context that some event(s) or conversation could be the springboard for some future creation.
I’m not sure about most writers, but I am aware of others who have or do utilize such an approach to glean experiences or insights to augment their creative processes in writing. It is clear both from reading the journals and biographical information on Sylvia Plath that she was ever vigilant in this manner. I certainly don’t pretend to have mastered the process to her degree success, but I believe that to ignore this avenue altogether would invite so many lost opportunities.
The fact that I have been able to do much initial work within my journal as opposed to the computer has certain portability advantages. It clearly enhances the ability to be able catch things that might otherwise be lost with other fleeting thoughts. I am not underestimating the value of the PC to writers and would never want to return to pre-computer days.
In spite of this integration of day-to-day life with writing, I believe it is necessary to find the way to step back from time to time. It is just like leaving your work at the office. It is healthy to have that break from time to time. Writing is no different. It’s just that I realize the value in the connectivity of life to writing and want to make sure to allow some of it in.