The Routine Sequence

I’ve written more words in my novel manuscript in the last week than I have in months. I’ll give my therapist credit for this one. Don’t tell her because then I’ll have to do all the other stuff she wants me to do. That might actually make me, I don’t know, happier and more productive. Ugh.

I started working out four or five times a week in the morning before anyone else is awake. That routine has been helpful. I mentioned to my therapist that finding time to write was hard because the book is very emotional for me to work on. It’s a real bummer in certain parts. I then made the mistake of saying that I was “piddling around after my workout.” Big mistake.

She said, “Why don’t you take that 30 minutes of piddling around and make that writing time before your workout. Then, you can let the sweat and endorphins of the workout wash aways whatever lingering stuff is in your head from the writing work.” I have to tell you that she is 100% correct. It works flawlessly.

I usually spend more than 30 minutes writing but the plan works anyway. The workout helps wash out my brain from all that lingering stuff. It’s a little shocking how quickly I can forget what I was just working on. Still, it’s so refreshing to have an empty head.

What’s interesting to me about all this is that it’s a matter of sequencing. The activities involved haven’t changed. I’m doing the same things I was trying to do before. I’m doing them for the same amount of time. I’ve just changed the order in which I do them and it has made all the difference.