Friday, October 28, 2011


For pragmatic reasons, I love the routine. I love the structure of it. I love knowing that my days are free. I know where I'm going at night. I know my life is kind of orderly. I just like that better.
Andrea Martin

I began to realize how simple life could be if one had a regular routine to follow with fixed hours, a fixed salary, and very little original thinking to do.
Roald Dahl

I'm craving routine. I have very little of it, but that which I do have I cling to. I measure my cereal and coconut milk into the bowl each morning--a cup of each. I add an ounce of nuts--almonds or walnuts. And if I have a banana, I dice that up as well. I bless my food with the Christian Orthodox prayer for food, making the sign of the cross over my bowl as I murmur. And I eat.

From there on out, my days are utter chaos.

This isn't working so well for me.

In order to live in the realm of the imagination, which I need to do to complete works of fiction and to work as an actor, my daily life needs to be full of rest and routine. That's what I need, anyways. I'm sure not every writer and actor feels that way, but when you're throwing yourself into the fire for the hours you are doing the work of the imagination, it's nice to come out to a resting place, a known world, where rules and flavors are familiar, where people follow guidelines.

I think I'd be very happy working the early morning shift baking doughnuts. Baking screams for consistency.

One thing that isn't consistent is the academic calendar. It's full of ebbs of intense work followed by less intense work, followed by no work for weeks or even months on end. I currently work the academic calendar, and while the idea of being a creative working in academia seems a good idea--with the flexibility of schedule and summers and breaks free--there seems to be whole weeks that go by that don't allow one inch of room to jump into the imagination. This results in a spiritual death and looming depression for me.

Some of my colleagues seem to work well in the chaos, and they have ways of squeezing in their creative work, but I haven't found that yet.

I'm just now working on what my lunch routine will be. I want to find three lunches that I can rotate. Vegetables and protein. Protein and vegetables.

However, I will start a new routine tomorrow morning. From here on out, I will stop every day at 3 PM and write for 10 minutes, then I will sing for ten minutes, then I will write for another ten minutes, then I will memorize lines for ten minutes, then I will sing for another ten minutes. I will follow all this by staring off into space for the last ten minutes of the hour.

Please do not disturb signs will go up wherever I am at three pm on the dot starting tomorrow.

Please do not disturb.

This is a matter or utmost importance. My very life depends upon it.

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