Routine Creativity

This post will probably not be great because honestly, I have no ideas. I have built writing this blog into my morning routine, but I don’t necessarily have a plan. I just get up, meditate, and sit down to write. One of my favorite novelists, Stephen King, says that we can’t wait for our muse to show up, we just have to be there when it does. “Your job is to make sure the muse knows where you’re going to be every day from nine ’til noon. Or seven ’til three. If he does know, I assure you that sooner or later he’ll start showing up.”

My muse has a much shorter window, only about 30 minutes in the morning, but I’m also not trying to write a novel. Just trying to get some of my ideas out into the world, flex my creative muscles. However, I’m not convinced that my muse knows that I exist, much less where I am right now. But my hope is that the more I sit in front of my keyboard, the more the ideas will flow. Creativity tends to beget creativity.

For most of my life, I resisted routine. I never wanted to be one of those “9 to 5” people. I wanted to be an actress, a singer, an artist, a creative. But it turns out that the best of those people thrive in routine. Practice is an every day occurrence, not just something you do when you feel like it.

Putting together a morning routine has been life changing for me. It answers a lot of questions. When I wake up, I don’t have to wonder what my day will be like, I already know. I know that I have to get out of bed, feed the cats, drink a glass of water, meditate, and write. Before my routine, I would lay in bed and think, “I have so many things I need or want to do. What should I do first?” Usually the answer was, hit the snooze button and go back to sleep for a bit. Not helpful. Now, there’s no thinking, only doing.

Routine sounds boring. I wish there was a better word for it, to be honest, because it really has been the answer for me. I get things done now, I have goals and aspirations that I’m working towards, not just thinking about. You need a box to create in before you can go outside of it. That’s what routine does. Routine is the box. And once you get comfortable in the box, you can begin to push on the box, make it bigger. But the constraints of the box need to be in place. It’s overwhelming to try to create outside of the box when you don’t even know what the box looks like.

I hope my muse shows up soon, but until he does, I’ll just sit here in my box and follow my routine. He knows where to find me.

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