Whether you're a writer, artist, bus driver or parent, you have some kind of rhythm in your life. However, you might not be totally aware of it.
Saturday morning, my daughter sat down for her usual piano lesson. Despite the rising summer heat, her teacher sat on the couch in his typical attire, a three-piece suit and tie. Beads of sweat pooled on his forehead, but he was as jovial as ever. Daniel had a rhythm in his life, and he knew it.
He enjoys connecting with his students. It's evident in the laughter and banter exchanged with the eye-rolling youth who sit before him plucking away at black and white keys. Daniel either does not notice their indignance, or he ignores it. Maybe, he's just too busy sharing his own stories.
Daniel loves to tell stories almost as much as he loves teaching piano.
In between errant notes, he shares tales of "when I was your age". I sit upstairs, my ear tilted toward the doorway. I love Daniel's stories. At first, I thought, why is he wasting my daughter's time with his silly memories. Then I realized his stories had a purpose. His stories connect him to his students. They make him real, fallible, and vulnerable.
Deep down, my daughter adores her piano teacher. I don't know if she'll remember his stories; I do know that she'll take his passion and joy with her.
Piano teaching is his passion, but the stories that connect him to his students are his rhythm.
If writing is my passion, what's my rhythm?
It could be the joy I receive from writing, the connections I make to the reader, to myself. Writing can be a solitary task; you need to connect to those you write for. Otherwise, you lose the passion, the joy, the rhythm.
Whether it's a contemporary piece or genre specific like a horror or fantasy, you need to find that connection to your readers' lives. People love stories, but they want them to mean something.
How do you connect to your readers? What's your passion in life? What's your rhythm?