Routine is the elusive siren song that’s good for us, yet we often struggle to believe in it enough to make it stick. This beguiling song is not sexy nor exotic, but oh so practical and beneficial. Without it, the hopes of any creative will simply smash into pieces upon the rocks where the siren sits and sings.
I used to think great art or music or literature came only from gifted minds, those blessed and fortunate humans touched with an ease in creating their works. Now I know a finished and published book is merely the tip of a proverbial iceberg visible above the waterline. To believe the effort flows freely because of some “gift” is to ignore the massive effort unseen and hidden beneath the final product.
When I first outlined my book, Modern Nomad: The Vanlife Alternative, I believed the path to a published book would be easy. One could say I felt “gifted” with a deep knowledge and experience on the subject. Surely this meant I could write the book quickly, publish to the world, and go on to my next writing project sooner than later.
Reality, of course, seems ever-silent until ignored. Thus, in hindsight, those early days of flushing out content were merely toe-dipping into slushy water beginning to congeal on the surface, slowly forming my “iceberg.” Without routinely focusing daily on progress versus anticipating the published book, I would probably still be wandering around in slushy water, slowly building that damn iceberg.
As work progressed, I went through a lot of thaw-and-freeze cycles, despite my best efforts to stay on task and memorize routine’s jingle “Write and repeat, until complete.” Looking back, I credit those who helped me get the work into publishable form, with an honorable mention to routine, without which a creative may not complete a proper “iceberg” that will float happily through calm waters.