The ice cubes chink together in that familiar sound as I stir my iced mocha with the bamboo straw. I’m back from my two-week hiatus today, and wouldn’t you know it, I’m hit with a persistent headache and debilitating cramps. All I want to do is curl into a little ball and cry myself to sleep – thanks Mother Nature – but there’s shit I gotta do, so there ain’t no rest for the wicked.

Instead, I’m powering on, first with what we millennials are so fond of calling “adulting”, and then with work. I’m supposed to start editing again today. Two weeks ago my creativity came to a screeching halt when I pushed too hard. Luckily, I’ve learned something, and didn’t go careening off that edge of creative burnout like Thelma and Louise in their Thunderbird.

I’ve gotten this far today in fits and starts, stopping often to take breaks and just admitting that even the smallest things will make me feel like crying today. And it’s okay. Sometimes your choice is between doing something or doing it while crying. But so far, all I’ve managed is to whimper while doing the necessary things.

Now, I’m nursing coffee #2 after having cleaned the loo and bathroom, done the groceries, cleared out the clutter in my inbox, took a webinar about community building and have spent an inordinate time thinking about a) how in the world do you build a community successfully, b) what am I really passionate about, and c) how marketing can be a very good tool for having to formulate and verbalise that passion.

To have some background noise while I did all this, I started listening to Dave Grohl’s The Storyteller*, and so far, I’m entertained. Though not a die-hard Foo Fighters fan, I’ve got a soft spot their music, and I’m absolutely feral for Play, a 23-minute instrumental composition composed and performed by Dave Grohl.

Today, I’m listening to it on repeat because it’s giving me life. Not that I ever listen to it just once and walk away, but especially on a no bones day like today, stuff like this is life. Being able to dive into these kinds of odd-ball projects taken on by artists is something I love. Just look at my Stromae obsession.

It’s because the same drive that drives them, to do it again, to do it better, to master it just a bit more, drives me. I relate. And I feel less alone. Writing as a process is an incredibly lonely job – you spend most of your time in an environment where you’re the one in control of everything, you have to make every decision down to the smallest details, and that’s taxing. And often there are no right or wrong answers, which means that you’re just delving deeper and deeper into your own interpretation, digging down until you find the thing that sounds true to you.

This isn’t something that’s done for money. It’s done for the love of the craft, for the passion of expressing something that just won’t leave you alone. This is the job. It takes a lot from you. It also gives you a lot. But taking breaks and giving things are an integral part of the creative process, and now I’m navigating my way back to the work that I have so much passion for.

I sought solace in my Osho Zen Tarot deck, and came up with:

“. . . unless you know the oceanic experience, you have lived in vain. Now is always the time, and the fruit is always ripe. You just need to gather the courage to enter into your inner forest. The fruit is always ripe and the time is always the right time. There is no such thing as wrong time.”

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