To some that word means “rut” to others, “freedom.” I fall into the latter category.
For weeks I’ve been bumbling along without a routine. Words haven’t gotten on the page, because I’m distracted with one self-made crisis after another. Meals are pitiful, and onerous because I didn’t get to the grocery store. More garments lie in the laundry hamper than hang in the closets.
What’s worse, all that unorganized time isn’t joyful. I pick up a book to read, then put it down because I have a nagging sense that I should be doing “something.” Knitting makes me cross, because it’s wasting time. Everything feels off kilter.
Without a routine, my life feels out of control and I am cranky, really cranky. Maybe that is the reason interviewers are constantly asking writers about their routine. Instinctively, they know that a productive life needs organization.
The light dawned for me as I turned over the calendar to February. One month of 2020 gone and I was a mess. Something had to change.
A trip to the stationery story to procure a new ledger. A few concentrated hours at the desk to close out the books on 2019 and start a fresh new page for 2020. I do like a new notebook. All those clean pages inviting me to fill them with useful words or beautiful words, or orderly words. I feel my spirits rising along with the little red tick marks on those clean pages.
That sense of order is why routine equates to freedom for me. When I have a list of “to do” I can check off the tasks as they are completed. This gives me a sense of accomplishment and gives me permission to enjoy my free time. Knowing the fridge is full of food, the car has gas, the bills are paid and my WIP is moving forward, I’m released from the rut of discontent and set free to pursue my passions.
My crankiness has taken wings and flown away. My house is in order. My mind is free of distraction. It has been a good week.
Writerly Kindness Update
Our writers group, VIRA had an unexpected glitch for our September conference, when the two planned speakers cancelled. Panic ensued. Timetables are already set. I contacted Laurie Schnebly Campbell and she agreed to come on our preferred dates. She offered a great choice of workshops and she figured out the best flights — then booked them herself. She never once remarked on the short notice. I call that an extreme example of writerly kindness to a group of authors in distress. Thank you Laurie.
If you have a story of writerly kindness please share. I hope to have a considerable collection of examples by the end of the year. Contributors are entered in a draw for my latest “Prospect” book, available by the end of the year.