Last time I wrote here was at the beginning of April, a few days after I moved my life across the ocean. Since then, I’ve been trying to find my footing in Germany, but working between Hamburg and Berlin has made it hard to put down roots. So I gave myself some leeway on blogging, writing, the gym and other activities that are usually part of my routine; new job, new country, new language, I’m allowed to lower my expectations toward myself.
By sacrificing my routine on the altar of circumstances, I’ve realized how much these simple things that give rhythm to my days and weeks are important for my creativity. I’m significantly less productive in my writing even though I do spend some time working on that.
Almost four years ago, I wrote an article about the importance of having a Writing Time, but other routine elements matter too. They help bring order to the multitude of actions I take everyday, so that when I sit down to write, my brain can focus (instead of building a To Do/Most Not Forget list for the next day). Routine gives me a feeling of control and security, and makes it easier to let go and let the words flow.
It doesn’t mean that I need every minute planned and every week to be the same, but a certain cadence to my days goes a long way.
Until I move back to Hamburg full time in August, it makes no sense to start certain things (like finding a gym I like). One habit I have kept is to have breakfast with my netbook at a restaurant once every weekend –I found a good Turkish restaurant with a tasty breakfast plate and upbeat music that just bring the ‘sun’ in Sunday. It helps, but I’m not being especially productive at that time, my mind wandering between ‘nomnomnom’ and ‘laundry-grocery-cleaning-sightseeing’. A similar thing happens during my weekly back-and-forth train ride between Berlin and Hamburg.
Long story short, I’m reintegrating blogging into my routine so that it serves the same initial purpose behind the start of this blog in 2010: get me to sit down and write. Though I don’t intend to return to Strings of Retaliation for now –I’m focusing on editing Oil and Boiling Water— I want share thoughts, tips, tricks and shorts on a regular basis and reconnect with hops like Weekend Writing Warrior. That should be a good start on a more productive writing schedule.
What about you? Do you have parts of your routine you need in order to have the mental space to handle writing?