Wednesday, July 21, 2010


It’s hard to believe that seven months have passed since I moved from Ottawa (Ontario) to Sherbrooke (Québec). While Ottawa is a “bilingual” city (English/French), Sherbrooke is not. French is the dominant language. I write, creatively, in English but everything else — from groceries to buying stamps to attending artistic workshops — is done in French. I’m okay with that since I’m bilingual. Upon landing in Sherbrooke, I quickly joined one of the artist collectives; and now I am writing creatively in French, too.

I made a decision not to seek work right away. Moving is exhausting, and I wanted time to settle in, get to know the region, work on a few creative projects. I wanted to take the time to feel at home before adding the hurly-burly of work. This week I started a new job. After not working for seven months, getting back into the flow of work is proving to be a challenge.

Arriving home from work (thankfully less than a two-minute walk from my apartment), I’m exhausted. On a nice day like today, I want to go for a run. After that, I need to get cleaned up and prepare supper. After supper, it’s time to do the dishes (no dishwasher). By the time that is all done, I’m left asking myself: Where do I begin? Do I work on my novel or do I try to polish up the short story I want to submit? Do I have time to sit down at the piano and write out a couple of measures of the song that’s flowing through my fingers? What about that painting, unfinished, that is still on the easel?

Yes, going back to work has completely disrupted my flow and I’m trying to find a way to get back on track. While I am a morning person, this week I’m dragging my heals in the morning, rolling out of bed around 5:45 a.m. (I used to get up at 4:30 a.m. to write before heading to the office when I lived in Ottawa). I’m trying to remind myself, as I’ve written before, that “easy does it”. I’m not in any rush. I’m not in competition with anyone but myself. I write because it is the passion that consumes me. The only person I have to answer to is myself.

After writing this I’m feeling better about things. I remind myself that each day I do something to edge myself, and my art, forward. I have great friends who encourage me, and my art. I have to have faith. So just for today I will keep on keeping on.

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