A writing routine is a beneficial thing. It gets you in a habit. It facilitates the finishing off of stuff. It makes you feel good, in control, on top of your world.
Life likes to erode routines slowly and surely. This entropic reality can be averted with some good old fashioned discipline. Say, No, and get back to your writing routine.
But then sometimes, life smashes routines beyond recognition. The death of a good friend will do it. The death of two good friends in two horrible weeks will do it. Life doesn’t space out deaths evenly so that those of us left living can carry on with routines. Life is lumpy.
Crossing a road is a lumpy business. Cars come in bunches. Sometimes the bunches are close together with the gaps uncrossable. Then, with no rhyme or reason the bunches stop coming and a huge gap appears. You can cross that road now without any worry, a snail could cross that road now. Be patient. Life is lumpy, life comes in bunches.
The appearance of treasure at the op-shop is lumpy. Some people, supposedly in the know, say the good stuff goes out on Thursday. Are these op-shop experts in cahoots and giving us the bum steer? Thursdays are no better than any other day. Treasure appears randomly and is largely dependent on one’s mood at the time. Look at your last op-shop purchase. Does it shine like it did when you laughed inside and handed over that three dollars thinking what a bargain, and, who would throw this out? Treasure is a state of mind. States of mind are fickle and absolutely unable to be forced into Thursdays.
Routines themselves don’t facilitate creative spurts where the words flow and time stops and you feel like a medium channelling universal truths. Life is random, the spurts come in lumps, often in bunches of lumps. Routines simply get you: on your bum, at the desk, with fingers match fit, at the right time of day or night, ready to channel those random exhilarating spurts of writing magic. That’s all.
Some of life’s lumps are bigger than our ability to stick to routines. Don’t punish yourself for getting washed up on the rocks by the rogue waves of life. These destructive disruptions, beyond our control, are the stuff of life, without them we would have nothing to write about anyway.
Be thankful for the lumps.
And make the best of the gaps in between.