“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” - Gustav Flaubert
Over the course of my life, I’ve spent a lot of time with artists, musicians & creative people of all kinds. They all have vastly different processes, but the one common thing I’ve noticed is that they’re pretty averse to schedule. Most will not have a fixed routine to go about their day & will usually wake up when they want to, do as they like, eat as they please & obviously work when inspiration strikes. Most of them would spend a lot of time scrolling Instagram, watching TV or just gassing about, with some periods of creating thrown in to the mix. Even if their output was less quantitatively, they did manage to come up with quite a lot of great art.
I on the other hand have always been a little more scheduled & like my routine. I’d want to create everyday, as per schedule and even though I might not have had any ideas, I’d force myself to sit on my desk & work. My friends always used to joke about how I’m a better “producer” & “enabler” rather than a creator, meaning I was better at handling logistics & getting things done rather than actually creating great things. Looking back, I think I internalised a lot of that & felt inadequate in terms of my creative prowess. This was a few years ago.
Now though, I look at it not as my weakness, but rather as a superpower. Sure, my ideas might not be amazing, but I do feel they’re good enough. And because I “schedule” creativity into my routine daily, I end up producing & executing a lot more ideas. Sure, most of the time when I sit and make something, it’s pretty crap. But with time, the baseline rises & becomes better. To explain with an analogy, when you put a tap on, you have to let it run for a little while to let the dirty brown water from the pipes clear out before you get to the clean water. Ideas & creations are like that. It’ll probably take a lot of them to get to the good ones.
To get through those ideas, I make sure I schedule in some creativity into my day. It might be a walk with no technology, sitting on my desk with a blank page or having a clear hour where I let my mind wander.
Schedule creativity, because even though a lot of creativity is serendipity, we still have to do the work.