I love the quote by painter Chuck Close: “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.” Real creative professionals know that creativity isn’t about a spark, or inspired moment. Sure those things happen, but they’re rare and can’t be counted on. What can be counted on is showing up. One writer described the writing process as simply “Connecting the seat of your pants to the seat of a chair.”
Daily routines are the key to long term creative productivity. The book “Daily Rituals,” by Mason Currey tells the story of 161 creative professionals throughout history and charts their daily routine. The result is amazing. What I discovered from the list of writers, painters, musicians, and other creatives is that the vast majority were virtual slaves to a daily routine. They created the environment, schedule, and process that worked best for them – and then stuck to it.
How about you? Certainly those of us with day jobs have to adapt, but as close as possible, do you have a regular routine for creativity?
Stop working randomly, and start developing a routine that you never stop. Great athletes, inventors, artists, writers, and more will tell you that it’s not the creativity that matters – it’s the routine. Because once the ritual is established, the creativity naturally follows.
Do you have a ritual for creativity? Do you work randomly? I’d love to know what you’ve discovered that works.