Routines can be good.
They allow us to have consistency, get in the flow and concentrate at certain times. For example, I like to write in the mornings, I find (unless I’m exhausted) my brain functions better and there are less distractions in the morning. I like the sunshine and the sound of the birds. It feels like the morning is a peaceful and contemplative time, with everyone just having woken from dreams there is a certain stillness to it that makes it ideal.
So I try to keep my routine. I think it’s important to write every day, whether it’s just a blog post or a few words on a work in progress. Gotta keep the juices flowing.
On the other hand, routines can be bad.
Writers should be keeping their eyes open for the unexpected parts of life, the parts that jump out, make an impact, feel different than the every day. If you are stuck in a routine and every day falls into the same pattern, how are you going to experience the unexpected?
Routine can also become an excuse if you let it. If I told myself I was going to write every morning from 9am-11am and that was my ‘writing time’, what would happen if I was busy one morning? I don’t want to use a routine as an excuse not to write, or to lock myself into something so completely that I feel guilty if I don’t do it. For example I missed the past two days of this blogging challenge. I immediately got cranky with myself and tried to think of ways to make up for it. Then this topic of routine came up and it got me thinking. I don’t want to beat myself up for not doing something, I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that’s a good way to live. I want to do it because I love it and not stifle myself with routine.
I want to break the routine and embrace the spontaneity of my passions.
That’s the joy of freelancing too, the lack of routine. There is no nine to five, we work when there’s work and play when there’s none and I wouldn’t want it any other way. If I need to I can work at midnight to finish a project because I just had to finish that episode of The Office (see the symbolism?). As long as it gets done, it doesn’t matter when I do it.
So routines can be good for some things, but what’s better than sticking to a routine tirelessly is breaking with routine and embracing the unpredictability that follows.
This is a post for www.writesofluid.com’s blog writing challenge. One blog post a day for all of June! Check it out at the website or on twitter: @sofluid or #wpad!