One of my goals this year is to have a creative routine that will start my days off, using the “make before you manage” ethos I gleamed from Tim Ferriss and mashing it up with what I remembered from Austin Kleon’s morning routine. The idea is to have a set time each day before starting work that allows me to check the creative box, and is somewhat in line with why making your bed every day is a good thing – no matter what else happens that day, I did something that fed my soul.

One of the factors involved is that I am self-employed and work out of my home. My office is a downstairs room on the opposite end of the house from my bedroom – so there is a degree of separation, but those lines can blur pretty quickly. At some point, I’ll have to do a quick tour of my space that, in spite of not being on par with many writer’s rooms or studios, might be of interest to someone.

Right now, I’m focusing on the creative aspect – something to do each morning that will fit into my larger morning routine: getting up around the same time each day, fitness, getting my daughter to school, and time with my wife. That’s all before I get a chance to do any creative work, and it’s all important.

At the moment, I have two main points – blogging and poetry. If I can write one poem and post something to the blog that is relatively coherent, I call it a win for the day. At the moment, I’m working through my Adjustment project of creating poems from the book Adjustment Day through the blackout / redaction method. One of those per day.

Some days, I’ve missed one or the other, in which case I’ve usually subbed in journaling. Other days, I’ve missed either or both of them and subbed in absolutely nothing. What about those days? Well, I give myself permission to be human and don’t allow my natural tendencies for impossibly high self standards to derail my entire day.

Today, it’s snowing like crazy and I’m behind in everything. I couldn’t get to sleep last night for love nor money because there was music and story ideas bashing through my head. The cat decided to have a parade all over the bed and then upchuck in the hall. The dog is terrified of the cat and kept moving around, refusing to settle down for most of the night. About the only thing we were missing was a clown car.

But I’m still getting some of my routine in, so at the end of the day I’ll be able to look back at that checked box with a degree of satisfaction.

Now, if I can just find a tranquilizer for the cat… or the dog… or maybe me…