Hi Jimbojones, welcome to BC.
Is this the standalone vesion of Outlook 03 or do you have Office installed?
By default, Outlook 03 uses Word as the default e-mail editor. If you are creating your message in Word and also have multiple word documents open, Outlook may see word as being busy.
In any case, open Outlook only. Click Tools>Options>Mail Format tab. Deselect the two Word 2003 options if they are selected. Click Apply\OK. Close and reopen Outlook. Compose a new message using Outlook and see if it still hangs.