I’m not opposed to spontaneity.
I like going on vacation without a firm itinerary, and I’m all for dropping a lesson plan to embrace emergent curriculum. But as I sit here at five o’clock on a Tuesday morning, I’m contented: routine is back.
There’s a certain comfort in knowing what’s expected to happen and being prepared for it. But above that, I find a steadying force in routine. An organizing force. An efficient banality where otherwise disorderly hours would be.
And I need it.
This summer was all about unpredictability. Sure, most of it was in my professional life, but that bleed over left traces throughout my days on the whole. And there was one major casualty: my writing.
During the school year, each Saturday and Sunday morning are devoted to working on my Young Adult manuscript. I set the alarm each day. I plant myself before my laptop. Then I write, my dog’s snores the only distraction.
I let myself infiltrate my character’s minds. I let people of my own creation lead me. They do things I wouldn’t, and won’t do what I would. Their thoughts overtake mine and they write their own story, my initial plot outline be damned.
But this summer, these days didn’t happen. My brain was too mixed-up to hand it over. Sure, I did some major revisions on my draft. But I didn’t create. I couldn’t focus myself for long enough to become the teenagers that my brain has released.
When I didn’t know what was happening in my own life, I couldn’t live theirs.
So, I know that five o’clock in the morning is a disgusting time to be up. And I’ll savour each sip of this coffee – and the next one. But I’m also ridiculously excited.
Because routine is back.
Weekends are back.
And I get to write.