The Virtues of Routine...
Never underestimate the power of forcing yourself to do something over and over again.
Penned 2 years ago.
It was 78°F in San Diego, CA with scattered clouds.
Against All Odds by Phil Collins was playing.
As I have been carving away at the lump of raw clay that is my first novel, I have become acquainted with the virtue of routine.
Traditionally I have not been a fan of routine. I hate planning things out in my personal life. From a professional perspective, I like routine, process, and planning, when I'm NOT at work I like spontaneity and a little chaos.
While this is great from the perspective of a lazy Saturday, it turns out that when you are trying to write a supernatural epic of universe altering proportions, it is uncool.
Now I get this isn't a universal truth, so don't misunderstand. I know many writers that thrive in unpredictability and chaos. I had assumed I would be one, but as I have found, that isn't quite true.
I say quite because it turns out that I need a routine, but one that places me in a location of chaos on the same general day and time. I thrive in chaos, alway have and I assume I always will.
But to make any real progress on something like a manuscript for the great American novel, one must engage in routine. And so I did. It's been amazing seeing the difference between how it felt to write before I instituted my new routine, and how it feels after.
I am now looking forward to Saturday morning at my writing spot, full of chaotic sights and sounds, full of things to distract. Amazingly I find the act of fighting to focus increases my ability to write dramatically.
It's like a +20 to my creativity.
I guess the point to all of this is simply, don't be afraid to embrace what is uncomfortable. If you crave order and quiet, try out a place of chaos. If you live for chaos as I do, try throwing some order in the middle. You might be surprised what you find.
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