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And here I am back in the studio again, trying to re-establish some sort of creative routine. It’s not that I haven’t been creative – quite the opposite. It’s just that I’ve not been in this room much over the last month or two probably. There’s much to be said for routine.

It actually took me a while to settle down to start with… first off I had to park further from the studio than is ideal. I am usually able to park on site, or very close, but, as I arrived the hearse and funeral cars were in the drive (our studios are above a funeral home) (not as weird as it sounds, but their vehicles obviously have priority). The usual street spots were full, so I parked further away, and loaded myself up with my bags and lunch and walking stick – often more trouble than it is worth, but I never know when I will need it at the moment. When I got to the studio, I clambered and clattered up the stairs and dumped my bags, only to hear the downstairs door slam, and I looked out of the window to see them all pulling off. I decided before I settled, I might as well go and get the car to park on site, it’s unlikely to be blocked again today, and then I would get away quicker later this afternoon. When I got back I did the usual fannying about making tea, and decided to have an early lunch and then start. So having left home at 10:30, I didn’t actually start work till 1:00.

The balancing act is ever-present isn’t it? There’s The Work… and then there’s the work you need to do to make The Work happen, get it seen, heard, hung, performed… and sometimes the amount of time the work takes, overtakes the time available to do The Work.

I am determined to get back to the twig work, drawing and wrapping. Really I just want to do that. But I have been distracted by my tax return…which never seems to be straightforward. I sometimes think it would be nice to just get a single payment once a month, tax deducted at source etc… but then that would mean getting a real job, so that’s not going to happen is it?

I can see that even the writing of this post is a bit all over the place and distracted… when what I wanted to talk about was the routine thing. I work better when I am in the routine. I can get to the studio and dive in, immerse myself in the task of making, and think a bit deeper while it happens. Those are the best days. I might be writing, making, drawing, or a mixture of art and music but it’s great. I come away feeling fulfilled.

Today I have come away from the hot studio to write my blog at the cool shady end of the garden…

I suppose the purpose of this post is to remind me that the making is key. Whatever admin needs to be done, whatever distractions there are, and whatever I need to do in the way of project preparation, I need to remember that my sanity lies in the routine, and the weight of my working week needs to be with the hands-on making.

Don’t let me forget that.