Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Inspiration vs Routine

How do you make room for bursts of creativity in your routine? How do you impose routine on inspiration?

There are hundreds of writing/advice books sporting differing schools of thought. Some say a strict schedule will choke the imagination. Just sit and write when the mood strikes. Others say discipline gives inspiration a place to go, room to make itself comfortable, when it shows up.

I don't want my words, my stories, to feel like they're just the next one on the conveyor belt - "Okay, one story done, next. Keep 'em moving! Write 'em, submit 'em. Next!" And yet, without some sort of schedule, I'd just watch reruns of CSI and Law & Order: SVU all day. (Hmm, wouldn't that be a routine in itself? Maybe throw in some Project Runway and Top Chef for variety?)

For example, according to my schedule today, I am - right now - supposed to be polishing a flash fiction piece. Instead, I am writing this post because I was intrigued by the idea of routine vs. inspiration; I was "inspired." So, my routine is off, but something positive and productive came out of it. Was I moved by creativity or was I just lazy?

Is there a right way and a wrong way to move through this writing life? Or do we all have to find our own way, and does that way change as we do?


  1. Love this piece. Mad, let me know if you ever want to share with FFC.

  2. Thanks, Gay! And I'll definitely keep FFC in mind.