Routine – it terrifies me!

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Every time I feel the urge to run away from routine, I think of the sun rising every morning. Imagine, it has risen every single day, without fail for a million years or more. And still, every sunrise is unique, beautiful and inspiring. If only I could teach myself to be just a little like the sun every day, I would be a better writer.

Ever since I was in college, I have dreaded the thought of taking the same 7.52 am suburban train to work for some 25 years of my working life. I deliberately change my trains, my driving routes, my shopping schedules just to keep from falling into a rut. So you can only imagine how tough it is for me to consistently post to the blog.

Please don’t get me wrong. I love writing, I enjoy it, I can write just about any time you ask me to… it is something that gives meaning to my life. Still, to write a blog post every couple of days, to stay in touch with my blogging community, to reach out and discover other wonderful bloggers out there – as a routine – I just find that so hard to do.

Yes, I know that consistency is the key to success, I work hard at being consistent and there are weeks when I set myself a timetable and it works beautifully. And then, just as suddenly, some work crops up and I get so busy – I simply lose track of my plans and my scheduled activities. I know that is not the mark of a serious writer, but (sigh), that’s me.

I could beat myself up about the fact that I don’t get as many posts out there, or I don’t get around in the blogosphere as much as I would like to, but that only makes me feel more miserable. Instead, I keep the thought of blogging at the top of my mind, and any time I can pull out may be 30 minutes or so, I write.

It may not be the greatest piece of writing I have done, but I would like to go by what my favourite blog guru, Cristian Mihai advises. He says writers must write no matter how the writing comes out. All of it will rarely be brilliant, but we are not the ones to judge that, our readers are. To quote Cristian, “In the end, I believe that the only way of finding out if your story is good or great or just mediocre is to release it. And see if readers love it or not.”

I love that piece of advice, so instead of worrying about whether my essay / article / poem or story is brilliant, I just work to get it out of my mind and on to paper / desktop. After a couple of run-throughs and edits to make sure it is grammatically correct and flows in an understandable thought sequence, I go ahead and publish the piece.

What this means is, that I don’t really stick to a strict schedule as a lot of blogging experts recommend, and I do know that has its big merits. I prefer to write when I can, where I can. That explains my preference for writing materials. With this flexibility in my mind, knowing it is okay to write whenever I have the time, I find it easier to fit blogging into my schedule.

This way, I don’t get bored with routine, I connect with people as and when I can, and most importantly, I am constantly working on building a body of work that people can explore, comment on and share.

How do you stick to your blogging routine? Is it easy for you, or do you also get tempted to break out? Please do share, I would love to hear!

~ Bharti Athray

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