The difference between a creative entrepreneur who produces regularly, and one who does not, is creative routine.
My Creative Day
Here’s how it goes for me, on a good creative day. I wake up around 6am and as soon as I can, ideally before thoughts start to rise, I go to the cushion for some inspiration meditation. Or sometimes, I’ll skip the cushion and do yoga nidhra instead, lying still in bed under the covers.
One method or another, the intention is to hold thought at bay, to stay connected while awake to the create-state that’s elevated by sleep, to keep con-mind loose and floating. As soon as I’ve finished meditating, and again without getting snared in thought or conversation, I begin my first 90 minutes of work for the day. I f-r-e-e-write, then blog or write something for the newsletters I’ll send to my followers that week or month.
In order to do this, I must be alone. My spouse and family know I am not available to them in the mornings, unless there’s been an accident or something outstandingly marvelous to share. I don’t read, or listen to music or to anybody else’s words, before I write. Often I don’t even get dressed.
If I do, I dress in workout gear and once I’ve done my first 90 minutes, I take myself off to play with some effortless exercise: sometimes jogging or chi walking in the park, sometimes wall tennis, sometimes the outdoor gym, or the trampoline or swings in the local playground. (I have to be up early for that, so the park wardens don’t catch me); sometimes a yoga session.
After a shower, over black coffee and toast in a café, I map the rest of the day or week or month, hand-writing on paper because that’s the way I like to do it.
I map using my own method (on maps I've made available to Club Members in the Creativist Club): a love-to-do list, a let-go list, creative intentions for my projects, across the coming day or week or month or quarter; a publications plan that includes what I’ll publish myself, in books or blogs or social media updates, and what I’ll pitch to others; a money plan that keeps the show on the road, pays me and the wonderful creative crew who work with me in the Club and at ALLi.
Then the day’s work proper—the writing, the publishing, the community building—begins.
These three morning practices—work, rest and play for body, mind, and spirit—ignite the create-state, make it number one. And I return to short creative practices to keep it elevated through the busy doings of the day that will follow: writing and editing and publishing my books; running ALLi and the Creativist Club and two publication desks, enjoying family and friendship and neighborhood and community.
I’m in the right state to meet whatever challenges and delights the day may bring, to truly live them. To be alert to what’s being created through me, in the moment of its making.
Always? No, not always.
I have days where morning practice doesn’t happen. I have weeks where I’m not as present as I like to be. I have millions of moments that are invaded by thought. Once I practice, though, more and more of my time is spent in create-state.
I observe more clearly, and more often, how it slips away from me and I know how to immerse myself again. I understand the creative dimensions of my body and mind and how the creative process works. I know what it takes to be in flow, how to return to the font. And now, so do you.
Not willpower. Practice.