In her book, The Creative Habit, Twyla Tharp talks a lot about routines and its effect on creativity. I start my day with the same ritual, which I don’t share often because of its eccentricity. I wake up at 4:00 AM, sometimes earlier, and after quickly checking emails, I put on my workout clothes. Sports bra, leggings and t-shirt on, I tie the laces on my sneakers and walk to the gym. For the next hour and a half, I stretch, lift weights and run. It’s a no-brainer act, but doing it the same way every morning impels me to not only live a creative day, but a creative life.
Whether conscious of it or not, everyone has their own unique routine
. While the composer Igor Stravinsky played a Bach fugue in his studio before moving onto his own work, Beethoven doodled in his notebook each morning musical ruminations he had in his head that day. There are many days I wake up and think to myself why the hell I do this? But the power I attach to my routine keeps me from going back to sleep and it induces some sort of on switch that gets me started, motivated and excited to lead a creative life, sewing included in that formula. In my feature for Coca Cola in which I documented a day in my life, it was only after I ran that I could then sew. As I wrote, “Post 10 mile run, I shower and eat a carb and protein loaded breakfast – homemade granola with bananas, dates, chai seeds and almond milk. I am now in the right headspace to sew.”
Whether it’s putting creamer into your coffee every morning or playing a certain song while getting ready, routines make us do something. At the same time, routines replace doubt and fear with comfort and stability because you know you are doing the right thing (if you’ve done it before with success, you do it again).
Do you have a routine for the day? What about a routine for sewing? Must you position your ironing board a certain way, or lay out your tools in a certain order before beginning a project?