Monday Business - Mastering Your Creative Routine
There is something to be said for the value of a well-engineered daily routine to anchor the creative process.
"Our individual practices ultimately determine what we do and how well we do it. Specifically, it’s our routine (or lack thereof), our capacity to work proactively rather than reactively, and our ability to systematically optimize our work habits over time that determine our ability to make ideas happen." (Scott Belsky)
Great artists like Amelie Nothomb, Corno and Salvador Dali have/had a daily routine to which they strictly stick/stuck. A routine simplifies life, requires little effort as it becomes a habit, increases self-confidence as we know the scope of our actions and helps us to live more relaxed as we don't have to constantly make decisions.
As I came across Stephen King's routine, it reminded me of rituals, that I talked about in a previous post:
"There are certain things I do if I sit down to write,” he said. “I have a glass of water or a cup of tea. There’s a certain time I sit down, from 8:00 to 8:30, somewhere within that half hour every morning,” he explained. “I have my vitamin pill and my music, sit in the same seat, and the papers are all arranged in the same places. The cumulative purpose of doing these things the same way every day seems to be a way of saying to the mind, you’re going to be dreaming soon."
And what can we say about Charles Darwin's:
|7 a.m.||Rose and took a short walk.|
|7:45 a.m.||Breakfast alone|
|8–9:30 a.m.||Worked in his study; he considered this his best working time.|
|9:30–10:30 a.m.||Went to drawing-room and read his letters, followed by reading aloud of family letters.|
12 or 12:15 p.m.
|Returned to study, which period he considered the end of his working day.|
|12 noon||Walk, starting with visit to greenhouse, then round the sandwalk, the number of times depending on his health, usually alone or with a dog.|
|12:45 p.m.||Lunch with whole family, which was his main meal of the day. After lunch read The Times and answered his letters.|
|3 p.m.||Rested in his bedroom on the sofa and smoked a cigarette, listened to a novel or other light literature read by ED [Emma Darwin, his wife].|
|4 p.m.||Walked, usually round sandwalk, sometimes farther afield and sometimes in company.|
|4:30–5:30 p.m.||Worked in study, clearing up matters of the day.|
|6 p.m.||Rested again in bedroom with ED reading aloud.|
|7.30 p.m.||Light high tea while the family dined. In late years never stayed in the dining room with the men, but retired to the drawing-room with the ladies. If no guests were present, he played two games of backgammon with ED, usually followed by reading to himself, then ED played the piano, followed by reading aloud.|
|10 p.m.||Left the drawing-room and usually in bed by 10:30, but slept badly.|
Even when guests were present, half an hour of conversation at a time was all that he could stand, because it exhausted him.
You can't TRY to do things, you must simply do them.
Routines anchor us more deeply in the moment, freeing our minds to expand. So enjoy them:)
Have an extraordinary day,