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Gwen Tuinman

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perseverence

Writing Through Tough Days

A dear friend presented me with a copy of The Right to Write by Julia Cameron. This morning, I read a passage in which Cameron talks about using emotion as fuel for writing. I know just what she means.

Every day can’t be a great writing day. We’re only human and easily derailed. A song triggers the memory of a traumatic event and upsetting images flood our minds. Muscle tension from overworking makes our heads ache. Someone we love suffers hard times and our mind repeatedly veers towards worry like a shopping cart with a wonky wheel. The harder we try to put these thoughts from our minds, the deeper they entrench themselves. Why fight it when we can harness those emotion in a productive way?

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Getting Things Done

As a creative person, I’ve historically found administrative to-do lists terrifying. I’d start off gung-ho, then turn into a morose Hamlet-type. “To get it done, or not to get it done. That is the question.” All those unticked boxes came to symbolize shame and guilt. They mounded up so heavily I couldn’t lift them. Why try?

In retrospect, each administrative task I listed was made of a subset of smaller tasks that could have comfortably been completed had I tackled them over a realistic timeline. But that would have been too kind.

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Believing Each Other Into Being

I’ve begun knitting a new pair of socks in brilliant teal. Already I have a feeling they’re not for me, but for someone else. I can’t envision their face yet or connect my hunch to a voice. No one has requested socks from me. But still, I know. Knit, knit. Pearl, pearl. My earbuds are tucked in and I’m listening to the podcast On Being with Krista Tippett. She’s just quoted a line written by poet, historian, philosopher and author of Doubt, Jennifer Michael Hecht.

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