The Loss of Routine

Blog No. 192

calvinmotivates-930x300The struggle continues and I’ve been given another reminder of how important routines are. Naturally, I am a person drawn to routines, so it’s no wonder that the more structured my time, the more I get done, especially with writing. I’ve heard other writers balk at the idea, and even argue against daily writing habits. While no one thing is ever right for everyone, I think most people can agree that a schedule and consistency tend to help when it comes to making progress (writing being just one example). It’s the same thing all over my life. I’ve kept up with going to my boxing class, but the extra work has been interrupted. Even my reading suffers from a lack of consistency, and I love reading. It’s just so easy to waste a few hours on the internet, or play another video game with my brother.

It’s like those people who claim they do better on tests when they cram right before. Sure you’d do better than if you didn’t do anything, but time and time again, it’s shown that taking the time to study over a couple of weeks is the best method. What you do during that time varies on the way individuals learn, but an hour a night for eight nights will always beat eight hours of cramming (or saying you’ll cram and getting nothing done). It’s the lie you tell yourself to make you feel better about being lazy. It’s the assertion that you write better papers the night before, that procrastination and anxiety improve your work, or not trying so you can always say you’d do better if you had. It’s the comforting lie that seeps into your head and casts doubt over everything. Just doing the work is a much better option. You may find you’re not as good as you’d hoped, but at least you can focus on getting better.

At least the things that have been getting in my way are worthwhile (most of them anyway). I’m still helping my brother with the basement. It’s going to take us some time to get the whole thing done. Lots of work left to do. I’ve also had some odd last minute shifts that I’ve jumped at taking since my hours are so limited lately. Between that, my regular laziness, the future news for Adventure Worlds, and the lack of support (a luxury that isn’t necessary, but tends to help me tremendously) it’s been a tough road. The support thing isn’t really anyone’s fault. It was just great during the time when a bunch of us (or at least two) could meet regularly to get some work done. I thrive on that. We’ve all become so busy though. I have to learn to do it on my own.

There isn’t really a point to this week’s post. I suppose it’s just a rambling rant about my lack of progress. Maybe by putting it out to the few readers I have, I’ll be creating accountability, but if I can’t be accountable for myself, I’ll never make it as a writer. The solution is as simple as always. Keep writing, every day. Build a routine that won’t collapse when I get bogged down with other responsibilities for a week. Finish my freaking book. Still at 40 000 words.

3 thoughts on “The Loss of Routine

  1. I feel you Ben, each day I look at how much time I actually have to do the stuff I need to do, like writing, going to the gym, and so forth and then I look at the clock and it’s time to go to bed so I can be somewhat functional the next day to work. It feels like you have a couple really good weeks of progress and routine and then it just disappears on you.

    I have this list of things that I feel will make everything work and I forget to do the one thing, actually do it. Blarg. Pick up the pieces and try again.

    1. Yup. Nothing you can do but try again. Put the most important things first and find a way to shove writing higher up on the list. I’m trying to get more comfortable with small jumps. 200 words a days seems like nothing, but it’s better than rushing out 1000 words in one sitting, maybe once a week.

  2. Pingback: A New Normal – Ben Van Dongen

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