Looking back at the past 20 years or so of my professional life, I can see a discernable pattern. Generally, long stretches of work and productivity are followed by prolonged stretches of no work and lack of productivity, at least in the conventional sense of the word. (There’s also the school of thought that the only patterns in life are ones that you make up yourself to fit a self-narrative. But for argument’s sake, let’s just say I see a pattern.)