Stop the Shoulds: What’s Your Creative Routine?

I will admit that I have an awful habit of  “shoulding” on myself. Whether it is doing chores or popping out to the local restaurant with friends, my mind silently screams “You should be writing” or “You should spend more time writing and less doing (insert any activity).”

We all tend to think that creative types are constantly churning out books, paintings and new song compositions. We think they are happily seated behind their computer, easel or guitar all hours of the day, churning out their epic creations for us to enjoy (envy).

However, according to Creative Routines, an infographic from Info We Trust about the schedules of accomplished creatives inspired by the “Daily Rituals: How Artists Work” by Mason Currey, this just isn’t so. The image shows how creative genius’ from Jane Austen to Mr. Warhol spent their 1440 minutes of each day.

What this bit of creativity shows is that to be inspired — you have to step away from your office and seek other interests while creating a solid routine for fostering mental and creative energies.

Beethoven took time each day to take a long walk and indulge in reading the paper at a local pub. After Charles Dickens spent his mornings writing, he would take walks and open his evenings to friends and family. Some of the artists tucked themselves away for long periods of time and others for short, but frequent, intervals throughout the day.

Using the model, I decided to hodge podge together a graph representing my Creative Routine:

My Creative Routine

Seeing my day segmented out does help to put it in perspective. I chunk out a huge part of my day to chores, freelance web designing and blogging. It pays the bills and that is also why it occurs first thing after breakfast. However, I would prefer for the writing/creative time to occur during this time slot for I feel it is when I am at my best. Perhaps the shift will come with time . . . or when I decide to shift my focus from freelance to full-time writer.

I think the importance of routines lies in stepping away from the “shoulds”.  Instead of thinking of what I should be doing with my time, I can enjoy my time away from the office as refueling moments for my creative time. By carving out specific time to pursue my creative projects, I can enjoy my moments away without the guilt.

What does your 24 hours look like?

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