Sometimes it feels as if I am at the bottom of a well with slippery walls.

It’s rarely as bad as it sounds. Or bad at all.


My writer’s cave feels like this, a combination of must and should and just can’t not.


I love being in it. So much so that I often let everything else fall away. But it also has an aspect of the involuntary. I wouldn’t call it imprisonment. More like possession, or consumption. To be held so firmly in the grasp of something that makes you feel alive.


This is what making art feels like to me. The trick is in couching those moments that hint at confinement with a soft place to land, a safe spot to take a seat.


We all have our priorities:

  • Have to do
  • Want to do
  • Must do


Sorting is fine. Helpful, even.(Says the woman who loves lists.)

But finding out what makes each of the categories work in our lives with a minimum of stress and struggle is important. Especially for the imperatives. They can start to suck the air out of any room. Even when these musts make you happy and fulfilled.


Here’s what I’ve discovered:

Find a soft seat to go with the cave. Have some fun while you’re down there. Bring a sense of self-determination and joy to your pursuits and the bottom of the well will feel like a prized retreat.