The Rhythm of Days. Ten of them.

Mel and I were just talking about it. The ebb and flow of them… the uneventful eventfulness of them.

I went from having, in a real sense, no book two weeks ago, to having 50 viable, living pages today, and a launch pad for many more.

The days off helped. What were your days like, Mel asked? Mornings on the road. Writing. Cooking. Sleeping. And repeat.

In the closer look, they were far different than that simple description. Restless, resistant, difficult, days of spaghetti-on-the-page followed by the 3 a.m. nudge and days of wonder. Up-down-up-down days in which I struggled for the mental focus to build a sentence at a time. Wonderful days of “where did the past five hours go?”

The chasing of the idea. The delight of being chased by it. The confusion of discovering that the story has found legs and a logic all its own; no longer mine. The proud regard of a passage hard-won. Knots that wouldn’t untie. Tangles that did. Moments of extraordinary emotional clarity. And all without a single one of those beloved, hoped-for moments in which the words came to me on autopilot: Every word was one I worked for.

I’ve had nights spent listening to the recorded chapter, the shakedown cruise of the idea…nights with a reaction of “Yes, I think you can write.” I’ve had what-the-hell-were-you-thinking? nights, too. I’ve had mornings in which the grey sky was a perfect backdrop for the ideas. Days when I worked with my hat on to keep the sun out of my eyes.

The waning of the day found me exhausted, fidgety and emptied-out. Farmer-like, sunset brought the retreat of the work. By 6, on a few nights, I was ready for sleep.

I am, since you asked, exhausted. I kept telling myself that this past Wednesday would be a great day to go into town, have a hamburger at The Back Forty and go to a movie. It didn’t happen. I couldn’t bring myself to waste a single precious day. It would have been like leaving the treasure on the ground. Couldn’t do it.

I may not be wise. I may be more driven than dedicated. I may be dragging myself to the days between this and the next long stretch of writing. But I wouldn’t have traded an instant of it.