I've been intermittently crafty, at one point finding a gigantic bag of adding machine paper at a thrift store and telling myself "I simply have to do something with this." I still have about a zillion rolls of the stuff, but from one I wove these paper dealies:
Then, a couple of days ago, after finishing up an almost-final-draft of some extremely time consuming administrative materials I have to have done by, ahhk, September 11th, I went out to the garage, scrounged up an old window and various other scraps of wood and things, and made a cabinet to replace the Hulking Monster Cabinet that has been looming way to large in my dining room.
Where a Hulking Monster once was, there is now a much smaller and more oven-looking item. Oh well.
When I get all crafty, I feel almost exactly the way I do when I get all writerly (writey?), which is to say that in both instances I simply want to make something. I know that the cultivation of this desire, with or without a discernible exigence, is often missing from academic writing classes. I know, too, that few writers describe themselves as writers because they "like to make things." I've heard making-things-up, but seldom making.
In academia, you get familiar with the class of writers who write because it's their job, and then there is the class of writers who write for dough (generally not of the academic variety), the class of writers who write for fame, the class of writers who write to leave some kind of permanent or semi-permanent mark on the old planet, but what about a class of writers who like to compose text because it is an act of making something? I'm going to start asking people about this, perhaps starting with my students this morning at 10:00.