I’ve written a lot about morning routines over the years. For many people, mornings are a good time for doing anything that is personally important but that life has a way of crowding out: exercise, creative or spiritual pursuits, etc.
Morning routines are fun to write about, but I soon realized that for those of us with kids and jobs, any given morning routine is going to be a snapshot in time, not an immutable law of the universe. Schedules change. If middle school starts at a different time than elementary school, that will likely change your morning once you have a middle schooler, changing again once high school becomes part of the equation. You could change jobs, or your partner could, or you could start working from home or stop working from home, or change which days you work from home, and so forth. Your partner might start traveling for work. You might start traveling for work. You might also move homes! This will change things too.
So I prefer to think of a morning routine as more of a morning “checklist” — the things I aim to do daily, but may not do at the exact same time. In any case, my current morning “checklist” is a variation on last year’s, but it’s how I’m starting my work days. Usually that happens somewhere around 8:30/8:45 a.m. I go into my office. If the morning is chilly I might turn on my gas fireplace (very easy with the remote control). I read a few pages of Shakespeare (usually about one act) as part of my project to read all the works of Shakespeare over the course of the year. I also write at least 100 words in my 2022 writing file.
I did the 100 words thing every day last year too, which built the habit, but I wound up with a lot of garbage. So this year I decided I wanted a bit more structure. Anyone who was on the December 2021 BOBW Patreon meet-up might have heard me thinking aloud about writing about a single day over the course of the year. As I thought about it, I thought that might be an interesting challenge. Since that particular day (December 14th) was a reasonably active day, I decided to loosely base my daily writing on my memories of that day, with a few extra things thrown in. So you could call it “Based on a true story” — it’s a bit more faithful to reality, at least currently, than “Inspired by real events.” There will be 365 short musings/vignettes on the main character’s life over the course of an ordinary if busy Tuesday.
I’ve just gotten to lunch 50-some days in and I haven’t yet come up dry. I’ve had to think sometimes, but that’s the point.
As for the Shakespeare, some days are better than others. I just waded through Titus Andronicus, and I can see why this bloodbath is not performed frequently. On the other hand, Shakespeare’s audiences didn’t have the ability to stream John Wick and the like. I guess you’ve got to get your violence and revenge how you can take them. (Also some historians think Shakespeare didn’t write Titus Andronicus, but I gather that’s what “some historians” think about every Shakespeare play that isn’t that good. I assume like any working creative he occasionally just had to crank something out!)
But even if Titus wasn’t up there with Hamlet or Midsummer Night’s Dream, it’s been good to see those more famous works in the context of all his work. I can see what devices and structures he used all the time. It’s felt like a worthy project and I’m not sick of Shakespeare yet so that’s promising. Morning by morning I read a little more and create a little more. It’s a nice way to start the day.
What’s your morning routine looking like right now?
Photo: My favorite picture from a morning run, even though that is not part of my morning routine right now.