How to refuel with creative routines: A freelance writer's daily practice

Apr 17, 2014

Freelancers tend to have rituals to get them through the day. Whether it's listening to Elton John on repeat (Tiny Dancer, anyone?) or drinking a soy mocha latte at 8am, your brain gladly responds to the trigger and your workday officially begins.

Like your favorite latte, day-to-day habits can help shape and inspire your creative practice. By embracing rituals, you can focus entirely on innovation and remove the hard decisions around when and how to start the process.

Demetria Irwin’s livelihood depends on her ingenuity. As a full-time writer, her daily rituals, like writing in her journal and practicing meditation, allow her to create her very best work. Demetria shares how adopting a routine can transform your creative process:

Start your day by writing in your journal

According to Demetria, allotting time for self-reflection and journaling is absolutely necessary. Inspiration can strike anywhere, so be prepared with a pen and notepad. Whether you log your activities throughout your day, create lists, or even sketch out concepts, the process is valuable for developing ideas and discovering patterns.

"I never go anywhere without a moleskine. Even if you're not a writer by trade, you should write every day, just to get ideas out of your head and onto paper."

Find time to read about creativity

Reading books and blogs that conceptualize creativity can help tremendously with enhancing inventiveness. Demetria highly recommends The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. "It's a great resource and will give you the kick in the pants you need to jumpstart your creative journey."

The popular book offers unique approaches for developing and honing your creative talents, along with inspirational anecdotes. For instance, readers are encouraged to begin a daily practice called “Morning Pages”, which consists of three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing.

“Completing my Morning Pages each day intensify my creativity and focus. Sometimes I write about my dreams the night before and those visions land in my writing. The whole process is transformative."

Similarly, The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp emphasizes establishing everyday habits for your pursuits. Both authors provide one-of-a-kind insight on channeling inspiration no matter what the circumstance.

If you prefer blogs to books, Creative Something and Brain Pickings, shares an array of online motivation and occasionally, writing exercises with readers.

Exercise and meditate daily

Adrenalin stimulates creativity. Adding physical activity to your schedule is an easy way to boost brainpower and of course, stay in shape. In addition, meditation is great for maintaining focus and gaining clarity. Together, exercise and meditation are powerful allies. “Shape your day to be your optimal self,” says Demetria, who is diligent with her meditation practice.

“Between exercise, meditation and food choices, discover what activities intersect to impact your mood, energy and productivity.”

Find tools to stimulate your creative practice

Demetria continually keeps ideas fresh by using digital tools like Evernote and Prompts - For Writers. She recommends using apps when you’re experiencing a creative block, capturing inspiration or if you need a way to visually organize your thoughts.

We recommend the following apps to kick off the process:

Your turn: What are some of your favorite creative rituals? Let us know in the comments below.

Demetria’s personal motto is “Everyday is an opportunity to do something awesome.' Read her blog Love is Dope and follow her on twitter: @Love_Is_Dope