• Shana Ritter

Once again….

Fall is leading into winter, The darkening comes earlier and stays later so that waking at 7 feels like it is still the middle of the night. I rise from dream into bare dawn and walk the hallway down to my study pulling on sweats along the way. The house is cold, the heat is just beginning to kick in.  My dog looks up at me as if to say go back to bed. I don’t want to stop to make tea or coffee, I want to get  to the page while the words I woke with are still lucid.  If I can make it to the desk, and my laptop or journal I can spend the next hour writing. If I miss that window I have to find the trail again and sometimes it takes hours, emails come in between, phone calls, the practical lists of job responsibilities. The rest of the world. Once again, after a few very busy weeks I am finding myself heeding back to the basics, the groundings for “a writers life”.  What I know is that even with a pretty idyllic schedule in the paid job realm it is still a conscious daily commitment to show up to the page, to write it down, to come back to it for revision. It’s doable but it needs to be done. I suppose like any long term relationship the commitment to writing is a daily series of small decisions that add up to whether to stay or go. How much attention are you willing to spare? How much effort are you willing to give. How much space are you prepared to take? It’s so much easier to slide down the path of least resistance. To do just the work that’s recognized and reimbursed. The work marked valuable. So much of writing is messing around with words that will be deleted, reading and reading other’s words, the time spent sifting before anything is written down or revised. It’s hard to clock those hours. And yet it is all part of what leads to a piece that at least feels finished. And results in me feeling like I’m where I’m supposed to be.

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