Rising at dawn, truly disciplined writers go through a ritual of carefully planned routines and then feel prepared to put in a full day of writing, This is admirable and I respect them for it. These folks no doubt do quite well for themselves and have real writing careers to show for it.
This doesn’t really fit my lifestyle at present but I will try to make an effort to emulate some of these good habits. I’m wired differently. My day is a long one, well into the night. I read and rest…and in between reading and resting I bake cookies and watch antique and design shows well into the wee hours. Lately, due to time of use guidelines with the electricity company I also find myself throwing in loads of laundry at midnight. Now, to keep me up later I have my new blogging hobby. All this late night multitasking is a bit much.
When I was teaching full-time I was up early, made my coffee and sat in reflection for a while before showering, dressing, walking the dog, shovelling out the car and driving thirty minutes to work at my school. My day there was truly a ritual of routines as I taught very young children. Circle time, songs and poems, dance, stories, phonological awareness, art and drawing, snack time, playtime, math games, work periods, more circle time to do large group evaluations of the day’s work, washroom routines, lunch, play time on the school yard supervision, quiet time, story time, organization for home, dismissal routines and after school meetings all culminated in at least two hours of clean up and preparation for the next day . The drive home, groceries, cooking, laundry, some flake out time watching the news and then bed made up a typical work day. Oh, didn’t I love it though. In all that routine and ritual I was so fortunate to have creative freedom. During those hours after school as I cleaned up paint and paper scraps and sorted through toys I would get inspired for the next day’s activities. A special storybook, a song, a pretty leaf or feather brought in by the children would trigger the fun for the next day. My planning routine was very much on the spur of these ritual moments. As I was gathering up my things to go home I would often think of drama games and structures to tie it all together. Oh the charm of drama. This was my creative outlet . Now what?
Taking myself out of the teaching loop last June I found myself preoccupied with family responsibilities . Routines and rituals played a different role during this time but were needed to cope with all the demands and challenges in my path. Recovery from this period during the winter involved time to grieve, remember, reflect and renew. Reading through the night, sorting through belongings, baking cookies at strange hours and listening to the wind storm against the house during the darkest hours brought some peace.
With the promise of spring, new strength and renewal have stirred new routines and rituals. The day still starts with coffee-making and dog walking. The rest of the day is pretty much a mix at this stage but the essentials are all there. Strangely though, the creative ritual to write stirs quite late at night…in between the loads of laundry.