I’m a man of habit. That’s not something I say lightly, it’s not just a casual saying to me. What I mean is that I’m extremely habitual, scheduled, and organized. Extremely.
I love habits. I like being organized. I like following a set program. Every. Single. Day.
It sounds boring to some people, but to me it promises efficiency. To me it means that I can trust that I get done what I want to get done. I can set deadlines for myself and know I’ll meet them.
I get up early and write in the mornings. Or edit, or proofread, or revise, depending on what project I’m working on. Then I have breakfast, go to work, come home, work out, have dinner. Whatever is left of my evening is usually spent equally on other hobbies such as reading, playing the guitar, video games or spontaneous socializing with friends (though there’s been a lot less of that recently).
Whereas most people have fallen off their usually schedules during the lockdown and everything that has happened this year, I’ve loved it. It’s been great. I’ve had time to read a lot of books, prepare my second novel for publication (any day now), write a novella, and a whole bunch of short stories. I’ve been working from home, which has given me more time and focus for everything, and I’ve managed to get in the best shape of my life (and getting better by the day).
Then suddenly, around three weeks ago, summer happened.
Summer is always chaotic at my work. Loads of people leave for vacations (or staycations rather, this year), there’s always loads of extra stuff that has to be done, and suddenly every single deadline is moved to yesterday. It’s weird, because it’s usually very quiet in the office, since no one is there, yet somehow it’s still busy.
Before I knew it, I wasn’t doing any of my usual stuff. I was sent away for a couple of weeks as well, and though I planned to take my laptop, to carry on writing, I decided against it last minute.
I knew I wasn’t going to get my writing work done. It bothered me at first. It stressed me out. I tried to figure out how to best stay on top of everything.
Then I gave in.
I knew it always worries me. Falling out of my routine is a big struggle for me. So I figured instead of falling, I’d take a big old leap away from my routines instead. Overnight.
In the past it’s made me feel anxious. I felt like I betrayed myself by not staying on top of everything, by not keeping up the production, the creative output. I felt like if I don’t keep on pushing, my motivation and inspiration will flicker out and die. I never really suffer from writer’s block, but that’s usually because I’m very careful not to ever give myself a chance to stop writing.
So this time, I did it on purpose instead.
And here’s what happened: I can’t wait to get back into writing. To publish that second book (I’m only waiting for few details from my editor and then it’s ready to go). I want to finish the novella I started earlier this year. I want to write more short stories. I want to start a new novel. I want to create MORE!
I worried if I quit; if I let myself take a break it would be difficult to get back into it. That I’d get out of shape, find it hard to go back to that strict routine. The exact opposite happened. It’s difficult to know where to start, to find enough time to do everything. There’s so much I want to do!
I’m glad I had that break and focused on getting my work done for my day job. Taking a step away was good, and I probably need to get better at doing it more regularly. But I also can’t wait until I’m back to my normal self. Because damn, I love writing.