If You Want to Accomplish Something Get into a Routine

Here it is near the end of January, and I’ve finally gotten into a writing routine. I’m a firm believer in routines because I waste time–big time. I’ve never liked routine. Spontaneity is much more fun. I have areas of spontaneity in my writing that requires me to go back and work in some details to make it believable. (Foreshadowing, they call it.) It’s no problem, though. I’m not big on details. Just let me know what planet you’re on and what century, and I’m good. Some authors are good with details. I used to read this author who described baking bread so well even that was interesting, until about the fiftieth time. If she wasn’t such a good writer, I’d have stopped buying her books. The bread making was too much detail for me. But I digress.

I’ve found a comfortable nook…a recliner with a laptop and a stack of reference books handy. It’s almost how I liked to write as a child, lying back against a tree trunk with a notepad poised on my knees.

Place isn’t nearly as important as time in routines. The older I get, the more conscious I am of time…or the realization that it’s running out. This was the greatest motivator to get me in a routine. I spend two hours in the morning on one project and two in the afternoon on the other.

Several times a day, I work on media, trying to make contact with other human beings. I’m about as successful at real communication as a scientist trying to make contact with life on another planet. My expectations are way higher than anyone else. All they want is a follower who scans a list for the best looking codes, or a friend who wants to show me a picture of a great sign or tell me the dryer is on the blink again, or they’re having spaghetti for dinner.

All I want is to find someone to share my lofty ideas with, all of which are conveniently tucked into the pages of my books. They’d understand if only they took the trouble to look inside. Of course, it might help if I had my books out there, which I don’t, yet. Which brings me back to the reason for a routine. To get those books ready for human contact.

To keep me honest, I keep a timecard to record when I sit in the nook and when I get up. When I’m brainstorming, I like to pace around. That doesn’t go on the timecard. Creativity can’t be scheduled.

2 thoughts on “If You Want to Accomplish Something Get into a Routine

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  1. Elaine, I could really relate to this post. Most creative people, I find, have difficulty following a routine. Like you, I find the years slipping away and so I am more conscious of how I spend my time now, I like to establish timelines; for example, Monday is blogging day when I write a new post. I also keep a list of activities and cross them off as I complete each one. It is a good feeling to see the list diminish by the end of the day and know that you have been productive. On the other hand, I reward myself with days where nothing is planned…I simply go with the flow. I love the freedom of not planning, yet I also love the creative productivity that comes out of a planned day. I try to keep a healthy, comfortable balance. (Your posts encourage readers to comment…nice blog! Beverley from LinkedIn)


  2. You are so right in saying that creativity cannot be scheduled. If I wake up from a dream, my first instinct is to write down as much as I can recall. None of it makes sense, the dream is jumbled, and what I write leads to creative ideas, even if it is a nightmare.


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