When I was working in the corporate world, I lived my whole day based on a piece of paper that had my daily schedule printed on it. Each morning, I would arrive at the office and break the day out into "chunks"--meetings, projects, etc. I'd print it out and be on my way with the paper as my guide. It kept me on track. And it was much better than just writing a list of things to accomplish every day--things have a funny way of just being "put off until later" when I operate with a simple list.
For the past year, I've been trying to "find my groove," so to speak. Trying to determine how my creative cycle ebbs and flows. But, just like when I was in the corporate world, I would manage to get some things done and others would just fall into the "later" pile. And it was always the same things that wouldn't get done--usually the things that made me the most nervous.
Yesterday, I decided that I needed to really carve out a chunk of time each day to write. And today I did just that... Not only time to put my thoughts down in a blog, but also time to confront the collection of stories that I've been working on. It's been awhile. I was really afraid that I'd lost my groove... That the stories wouldn't sing to me like that had been doing in the past.
But the most amazing thing happened:
When the appointed time came for me to sit down and confront the blank page, I did it. I sat down and thought to myself, "Ok.... You can do this. Just start putting words on the page. One after the other..." And sure enough, the stories started to sing again. It was wonderful! Maybe they'll always sing when I ask them. Maybe my mind did it because it was just totally freaked out that I was operating on a REAL SCHEDULE again like I had when I was in the corporate world. Who knows? I'm just so glad that the groove came back this afternoon.
The schedule worked for other things, too! Things that I love to do got done. (Of course!) Things that I try to avoid got done. (Hooray!) And at the end of the day, I had a checklist of what I'd accomplished. Herculean efforts and achievements. Not too shabby, I must say!
Moral of the story: Whether I'm living the corporate life or the creative life, I need to keep myself on a schedule. Period.
(originally published on Tuesday, July 28, 2009)