A Sense of Rhythm

When I was a kid, I took horseback riding lessons with my older sister. It was fun.
Our instructor liked making us switch mounts halfway through the lessons, so we would learn how different ones moved, learn to adjust. My sister never liked this. No two horses were exactly the same height; different legs, different carriage, different energy.
To me, it didn't matter. Off one horse, on the other, picking up the gait and cadence of their stride without missing a beat.
"How do you do that?" she wanted to know.
And I'd just shrug. I had no idea. I just did it.

Little kid. Big horse.
I do, now. It's a form of openness, relaxed receptiveness. You don't think about it. You just do it. You stop thinking and analyzing, and you just let it move you.
It's that way with the muses. It's that way with writing, transitioning from one project to the next. Not sure if it's a result of age or something else, but these days I find I have to take the time to recover from the immersion of one before I can move on to the next. Closure, recovery, a moment of peace to bring myself back to center, recover my own sense of rhythm, before I can submerse myself in the next project and get lost in the mind of a wholly different muse.

It's also about refilling the tank. Writing is an art that requires a great deal of emotional fuel. If a writer doesn't expend that, the reader won't engage, won't feel anything. After the whirlwind of writing DEoH in six weeks, for instance, I was emotionally exhausted for a couple months. In a way, I think the speed with which a writer produces almost has a reverse relation to recuperation time.
At least it does with me. In other words, the harder I push, the longer it takes (relatively) to build up the energy for the next project. Spacing the expenditures out over time, so that the tank doesn't ever run completely dry seems a better way for me to work.

Not that taking five years to write a full length novel is in any way acceptable. Quite the contrary, actually. But I need to find the balance in between. So that's what I am doing for the next week or two. Easing away from Black, easing into the next project (which is already at the halfway point) and poking and prodding at things. Getting a sense of rhythm while I regenerate enough energy in the tank to forge ahead again. Reacquiring the heading, so I don't forge off in a completely wrong direction.


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