It’s all about the routine!

In an effort to approach my career more professionally I’ve taken to reading numerous articles daily about “the craft” and the like.  I came upon this article recently, originally posted by James Clear (jamesclear.com/daily-routines-writers) about the daily routines of 12 famous writers and how they can be applied to our own lives.  Most writers wake up early and exercise.  I have two dogs so I walk and jog a little daily, but today I tried exercising.  We’ll see how long that lasts.  I hate mornings.

I, myself, am all about routine.  Having the dogs helps too, as they keep me on track, but I’m a night owl.  I write best, I feel, in the late hours of the night when the world is asleep, dark and quiet.  There are no distractions; no phone calls, few Facebook updates, no pressing matters.  And I can play a few mind numbing rounds of Tetris without feeling guilty.  I read somewhere that Bret Easton Ellis plays too.  That makes me feel better.  Sometimes, while I’m spaced out, negotiating odd-shaped blocks into a perfect pattern, I can workout whatever little bump in the writing road I’ve encountered.

Henry Miller’s routine in particular struck me so I thought I’d share – In 1932, the famous writer and painter created a work schedule that listed his “Commandments” for him to follow as part of his daily routine. This list was published in the book, Henry Miller On Writing.

  1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to “Black Spring.”
  3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
  4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
  5. When you can’t create you can work.
  6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
  7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
  8. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
  9. Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day.Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
  10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
  11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.

Good Luck!

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