Wednesday, September 2, 2015


It feels like summer is spent, and I don’t know where it went — like I blinked and I missed it. That’s a bit dramatic. It’s just that this summer felt like a struggle, from my writing, to running regularly, to everyday life activities. Maybe part of it, too, was the summer’s intense heat and humidity; on days when it felt like 39°C (102°F), that type of heat drained my energy, left me breathless. Now, the approaching Labour Day long weekend heralds the end of summer, and as I look back on the past couple of months I’m chiding myself for not having done more.

That is why, as an artist, it’s so important to take the long view. Each day that I show up to write moves me forward on my creative journey. Some days I might only get down two hundred words. Other days, working in two-hour segments, I might get in three to four writing sessions. Each day’s work, no matter how big or small, is a valuable contribution to the larger body of work I’m trying to create. The important thing is that I keep at, steady as she goes.

Taking the longer view, maybe I’ve been a little hard on myself, letting my inner critic have dominion over me. Looking back on the summer, I realize I didn’t let it waste away. I wrote the synopsis to the novel I finished in the spring. Writing the synopsis was difficult because, for me, it’s not something I enjoy — boiling down the novel into five or six pages. But I showed up to do it even when I didn’t feel like it, and the synopsis is done. Hooray! I let myself “play,” step out of my comfort zone and experiment with flash fiction. I have four solid pieces that I’ve been submitting here and there. I guess I was more productive than I thought I was. tells me that between July and August I ran a total of 83.15 kilometres. Since July 8, I’ve been working slowly through the exercises in Paul Wade’s Convict Conditioning: How to Bust Free of All Weaknesses—Using the Lost Secrets of Supreme Survival Strength. I’m doing my best to lead a healthy and active lifestyle, especially now that I’m also working my way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Oh the butter and cream!

It really is a matter of perspective. Sometimes, weathering the storm, it’s hard to see clearly the track that has been laid, how far along I’ve actually come. That’s why we can only take life one day at a time and, as artists, show up each day to do what really excites us. Let our passion fuel us, help us to love the moment in which we find ourselves, and give our very best to our work. That, to me, is happiness.

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