Routine and Comfort Zones

Routine is something that is carried out on a regular basis, usually in the same way. It could be almost habitual. Most of us at one time or another fall into routine. That’s not at all to say that it’s a bad thing. Majority of jobs are 9-5 and you go through the routine of getting ready every morning, working for eight hours and driving home during the rush hour traffic. You get into the routine of enjoying having weekends off but moping on a Sunday night because you’re going back to work the next day. There are many different types of routines in life and many different types of people who practice them.

Routine used to be something I needed, a solid structure and a plan moving forward. Moving into a working world where I work a variety of shifts a week, have different days off every week and have to structure my day according to other people has changed the way I view it. Sure I still love a bit of habitual daytime but I am embracing the change that comes with my job.

And I’m taking it into other aspects of my life. I have never sat and written at a particular time every day. It just wouldn’t be feasible for me. When I started my No Zero days as my new year resolution, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to say, ‘At 9pm everyday I will sit and write.’ Instead, my writing is dictated by my day and I’m okay with that. Changing things up in terms of the times I write as well as the places I write always keeps me on my toes. Sure there are days when it doesn’t work so well and my word count is minimal to say the least, but there are days when I find I’m in a certain place and it just hits me and I’m able to write and write and write.

I think there is also routine in our daily lives in terms of comfort zones. Nobody likes being pushed out of a comfort zone. It leaves you with that horrible, icky, insecure feeling and you constantly worry about whether you’re doing the right thing at the right time at the right place. I used to be a stickler for staying in my boundaries. I hated doing anything out of the ordinary that I wasn’t sure of or didn’t understand. Even in my social life, changing the pub we were meeting at was a big gasp moment for me. Now, working in the field I do, I have grown in confidence because I know I need to be that person. I’m there to support people and they need somebody strong to be that role model. That is what I’ve become. I face challenges outside of my comfort zone on a daily basis and yes I do still get flustered and angry and even scared, but I do it and then you know what, the sense of achievement that I get in that moment is amazing.

Do you have particular routines you follow? Do you prefer to work in a habitual way or do you go with the flow of your day/week? How about your comfort zone, how far is too far?

Writing is like the Gym

I forced myself to go to the gym this morning after a late night (and a takeaway) with the girls. Did I want to get up that early and go outside where it was slightly rainy and blustery? No. I did not. But I did it anyway. And after around forty-five minutes of gruelling sweat-inducing exercise, I’ve come out of it feeling rather uplifted and happy.

Of course, I know all that is to do with hormones being released and such like, but it’s still a nice feeling. I also got the chance to snap a picture of a lovely rainbow too (just wish I’d had my Canon with me). I’m already planning my next trip to the gym which I tend to do just after I’ve gotten home from a visit there.

So in that same vein, I was thinking about writing. Sometimes as writers, we can have dry spells. I think it happens to most people: Writers Block. Those dreaded words. It’s awful when you’re in the midst of it. There’s nothing you can do, nothing seems to inspire and then one day, something might just click and you begin writing.

I find that if I’m writing regularly, it’s becomes a habit, a ritual maybe. Currently, I’ve just finished the proof of my novel and sent it back and I’m working on Nano prep for November but I’m not actually writing any fiction and you know what? I’m craving it. I want to be drawn into the fictional world and tell the stories that are there. And it’s a brilliant feeling.

I don’t want to start working on a big project with Nano looming and the possibility of a dystopian YA novel on the horizon, but there are other things I’m getting involved with. I’m trying to write a short story for an anthology (zombie related) and I’m also pushing my brain to think of ways to organise my novels and a way I can go back and edit them to make them publishable.

I guess what I’m saying, is that once you get started it’s certainly a lot easier!