As I wrote in another post that, if you work in the creative field, waiting for inspiration won’t bring you far. You have to embrace it when it comes, take down some really quick notes and work on it when you have the time to do so. There is another trick that can give your creation process a boost – if you know how to handle it well. This trick is routine.
Some might think now that this is nonsense, and in most cases they are right. Routine can kill your creativity.
But it also can help you to move things to the next level.
What routine makes, when used in a positive way, is: It takes away the burden to decide what to do today. You can loose a lot of time – and energy – if you come to your studio without a specific plan for action. If you do not know what to do beforehand the odds are high that you will get lost browsing trough facebook updates, reading the latest gossip news or embark on an one-hour-trailer-watching-marathon. You will end up having wasted 11/2 hours and won’t have done the things you really should have done.
So one possible routine could be be like this (I’ll use the creation of a graphic novel as an example, but it also works with a novel, a house project or something similar):
- Decide the day before what you want to get done the next day.
- Get together the stuff you need in order to create what you want. This could be collecting some references from a search engine search, getting together the material you need, or writing a two sentence outline of the section you want to write the next day.
- The next morning, right after you have made your cup of tea or coffee to get warmed up you sit down and get the part / thing / section / chapter / illustration done which has to get done in the period of time you have set for yourself. It is important not to hesitate whether it is the right thing to do or not – that is a decision you have already made. Now you just push trough it and get it done. You do not want to read the online newspapers first or fire up any social media sites. You just get your workload done.
- Then you can do the things that are not that important. This might be something different for different persons, like: going trough your emails, calling back people, doing organisational tasks (you see that you have to know beforehand what the tasks are that matter the most to you and you organise your workflow accordingly). On the whole in this step you do all the things you can do once you are tired (after you have completed your creative task for today).
- After that you start again at point one.
This is just one possibility of what a routine could look like. Yours will most likely look different but the point is that if you follow a specified working routine, it does not leave any space for procastination or creative saboteurs and it throws you right into action.
You might ask yourself now: Ok, but where is the trick? The truth is: There is no trick. There is no way around doing the hard work to get where you want to get to. But routine can help you to stay on your track and loose less time.
What are your experiences? What are your routines to get your projects done? Feel free and leave a comment below.