I write by rhythm.
Having spent my life studying music, though, I've discovered rhythm is a weird thing.
It's a very fragile thing. Get off by a mere nanosecond, and you lose the whole flow, half or more of the audience. You lose the cohesiveness of the piece. People inwardly feel music: they don't need to know a thing about music to experience your rhythm. If you get a tad off, their toe-tapping gets uncertain and they stop feeling the music with you.
And rhythm isn't just a matter of practicing with a metronome.
My boyfriend in college was manic-depressive. My teacher and I noticed that when he was in a manic phase (or maybe it was the depressive phase, I forget), his rhythm was a mess. It was just non-existent.
There are days when I've performed and the rhythm was there. It pushed me on: it was my foundation, my support, my wings almost.
Then there are days when the rhythm is just not there, or when I feel like I'm chasing after it, or hanging on to it by my fingernails. I can play the rhythm "correctly," but the rhythm isn't there. I have no idea why; it's just not.
It's like that with writing. Some days I sit down and nail the rhythm. Some days I just don't know. Some days I write in rhythm merely out of habit and practice, but I'm not feeling it. Some days I'm not feeling it and my rhythm is completely off.
It's a strange thing, rhythm.
The best and most successful concert performers never lose their rhythm, not even for a micro-second. Yes, an audience's attention is that short.
I've noticed the same with the best-selling writers. The rhythm is always there, always on: every sentence, every word, every paragraph. The rhythm of the story unfolds perfectly; the pacing of the plot is timed just right.
Everyone has a heart: everyone's life is driven by rhythms. Everyone experiences the rising and the setting of the sun, sleeping, waking, life, death, heartbeats, breathing, etc. Everyone may not have an intellectual understanding of rhythm, but everyone can inherently sense whether something is rhythmic or not.
Thoughts? Do you think of rhythm while you write? Do you notice that some days it's on, some days it's uncertain, and some days it's just not there?