In a day of routines dribbling into a week of routines which flow into months and years of routines, I hunt variations.
Most of these come through my daily walks. I wear a Fitbit. My goal before sitting down to write each day is to achieve six thousand steps. Six thousand steps will provide me a comfortable start to the day’s walking goals. The steps, while a carrot, aren’t the day’s goal. I strive for seven miles plus.
Walking to the coffee shop where I write would help me with my walking goals. It’s two miles in either direction. I’ve walked it, and therein found why I don’t like it: it’s a boring, tedious, mundane walk. It’s literally a straight walk. To reach the coffee shop, I make two turns before walking one point nine six miles. Then I make another turn to enter the coffee shop. It’s a slight downward grade on the way into town, and an uphill walk in the other way. The monotony of this route throttles my senses.
To counter this, I drive three quarters of the way. Then I park and walk the downtown areas of Ashland. In this way, I can change routines on whim, and see variations that I’d not otherwise encounter. The variations stimulate my imagination, creativity and productivity.
That’s more critical now. I’m cop- editing a completed novel and just finished publishing a paperback edition of one of my previously published novels. These are not creative outlets. I invent stories as I walk, stories lost to the mind stream by the time I sit down and embrace the business of novel editing and publishing.
Sometimes my need and desire for routines sicken me. It seems seem unhealthy. On the other hand, the routines keep me on a sane path, pushing toward my goals.
Now, with my regular quad shot mocha in hand, sitting at the table and my documents open, it’s time to edit like crazy, at least one more time. It’ a grind, but it must be done.