the routine

I am, fundamentally, a creature of habit.

I don’t find routine boring; on the contrary, I find routine deeply satisfying, and the pleasure of checking off things on my to-do lists is a sharp and lovely one. Without a routine, I’m adrift; once I have one in place, I am quietly productive and much happier.

170110_snow_5The trouble is always establishing new habits and routines. My brain doesn’t let go of established habits easily, and to make room for the new the old has to go.  Right now, I am attempting to get a daily writing habit re-established; this is a bit more difficult than it sounds, since I work full time and freelance on top of that, and sometimes my brain just isn’t in a space to make words come out.

What I’m trying right now is to expand my definition of “writing”.  I need to find a solid time slot for this to happen in–it snowed last week so I had a chance to do my hour before work, but when I am able to start up my morning walk routine again, I’ll need to find a new time.  (My lunch hour, perhaps, or perhaps the hour after dinner and before I settle in with my online folks in the evening.)

I’ve decided for the moment that writing does not have to mean “making the words happen.” Writing can also include:

  • Planning (I am an inveterate gardener; I would like to be able to write at least a vague outline so I know what I’m writing before the words come out)
  • Revising
  • Making idea lists (I have many, many ideas, but if I don’t write them down they go away and don’t come back)
  • Listing ideas for blog posts
  • Market research
  • Submitting

I’m hoping this will make things easier.  I’ll report back later and let you all know how it goes.