Yesterday we sprang forward, turning the little hand on the clock one full revolution ahead, and I felt like I was in a time warp. It was too dark when I got out of bed. The light wasn’t quite right when we ate lunch. The kids were confused when we put them to bed in the weak half light.
I didn’t feel, well … like myself.
This got me thinking about time, and routines in particular … and how inextricably our identities are linked to our conception of both. As anyone who follows “Lost” should know, messing around with the space-time continuum can have some pretty trippy results (SPOILER ALERT). Some party-pooping physicists are even trying to prove that time doesn’t exist – their theory is that it’s simply an aggregate sensation that helps us understand the world around us (much like heat is an aggregate sensation describing the amount and activity of molecules in a specific area).
Next time you’re in a writing rut, try this: break your routine and see what this does to either your brainstorming sessions or writing itself. Get up a few hours earlier and try to write then, or stay up a few hours later. Stay out late at a bar or bookstore and people watch. Walk the dog at an odd time of day, work out a few hours later. If you’re really dedicated, have your roommate change all the clocks while you’re sleeping (and if you do this, email me because I want to hear how it went).
As much as sticking to a routine will help us as authors produce at a relatively consistent level, it’s imperative that we keep sharpening our imaginations. What better way to do this than to never let them rest?