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Rhythms & Perseverance

It’s been a month since I wrote a blog because I have been very busy at the computer every day working on the revision of my book. I had a routine: three to four hours of work in the morning, exercise, or physical therapy, or the chiropractor mid-day, check my email one more time, then shut down the computer for the day. In that way, I was not tempted to sit again for long periods. Even with this half-time schedule, I finished the book.

Now, it’s done, I am waiting for a reply, and refueling. I don’t know yet what my next big project will be and it doesn’t matter. I’m tidying my files, catching up with friends & family, taking long walks, swimming, continuing to heal my back, going to museums, reading a lot, and getting to know my new students. When the editorial notes come in on my draft, I will have a new project going—probably a short one—and I’ll be rested enough to get back to work on the book.

I have a cousin, an artist, who disappears when she is immersed in a project. She doesn’t answer the phone or emails, she doesn’t socialize. She hunkers down and works. Then she surfaces again and reconnects with the material world around her. She works in spurts; the rest of the time she is mulching, storing up ideas, collecting images, traveling and spoiling her grandchildren.

Every artist and writer finds his or her own rhythm and sometimes, because of circumstance, this rhythm may change—because it has to. Some writers who live in the country work in their garden or go for a swim every day. Some work six days a week throughout the year, others only in the mornings. It doesn’t matter how we organize our creative lives so long as we persevere.

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