Today I spritzed on what I call my “writer’s perfume”, the one I got the first time I went to Paris. Perhaps some of you remember the story I told about this perfume in an earlier post. This bottle was a refill mixed and purchased closer to home. Perfume is an evocative object for me as are garments and other accessories. Objects that are the carriers of my dreams and imagination.

I’ve been doing an impressive amount of reading about writing these days. I’ve been spending much more time doing it. I’ve thought (not wrote) about the edits I need to do for my book proposal after getting some feedback. When I’m walking across my house or pacing my roof to get in my 12,000 steps a day I’m listening to podcasts about writing. I’m back to being consistent with my blog posting. I’ve even experimented with doing some micro-stories on Instagram. It seems to go over well with certain followers. Those more interested in ideas and sentiment than clothes.

This quarantine has filled me with a need to tell stories. I’ve come to understand during the past year it’s not the unique look I create with my clothes that gives me pleasure, it’s when I sit down and tell a story about those garments that fulfill my desire, that gives me the feeling of having done something satisfying. In more public spaces, it’s my style that is my claim to fame. Here though, my readers help me believe it may be more about how I write about the materials I use to create that style than the style itself.

Yet while I have so much motivation, time, and opportunity to become the writer I’ve always wanted to be, I keep interrupting myself. It’s when I tell myself I need to make sure I read the New York Times several times during the day, despite being told by all the experts to limit my exposure to news. Yet my tight shoulders tell me I’m worried that something terrible will sneak in past the Statute of Liberty guarding the harbor if I don’t keep vigilant. It’s my need to pick up my phone and trick myself that it’s for inspiration rather than a distraction, that going down internet rabbit holes is for research, not me taking flight from the proper task at hand.

I’ve not in recent history written as much as I have now during the time of coronavirus. The loss of work from my “influencer life” is giving me way more free time than I’ve had in the past. I have given the virus a pet name, maybe to control it, to show it’s not the boss of me. I call it the “Great Interruptor.” Being interrupted brings up potent feelings. Perhaps it was the many times I had to stop what I was doing to take care of someone or something throughout my life. The disrupted dance, music, or figure-skating lessons made me always reserve that last bit of fully giving yourself over to a passion. Disappointment is a hard emotion to handle when you’re a kid. My granddaughter’s chin tilts down, and she frowns. Enormous disappointments involve yelling. While resigned to these interruptions, I never gave up on trying unknown things. I found ways around the disruptions, such as my lifelong habit of reading a favorite book after everyone else in the house had gone to bed. Still wary a part of me waits for someone to turn out the light. However, the interruptions kept coming as they do during an engaged life and I welcomed them into the door.

The “Great Interrupter” is stopping everything familiar. It’s interrupting life for so many in devastating ways, losses of life and livelihood at almost incomprehensible levels. I’m always holding this larger reality at the same time I manage the still privileged reality of my own interrupted life. It’s untenable for me and disrespectful of others to waste anything I have right now. So the phone is going into another room when I sit down to write. I will skim headlines only. I will stop being the Great Interrupter of my life.

Has the Great Interrupter, or you yourself, impeded your artistic pursuits, goals, or dreams? How are/did you manage? Now or then?