Routineology – Dave McLaughlin

Routine. For me, routine, especially when celebrated as an end in-and-of-itself, epitomizes the kind of mental-rational reductionist tyranny I rail against in my writing. 

It’s like sunscreen: it stinks of diabolical contrivance; it feels gross; and it is a nuisance in general – but if you want to succeed at soaking in the marvelous truth of nature (at least over the longer term), you need it.

So, yes, begrudgingly, I have a routine.

“Only by emptying your head of the things YOU THINK you should do can you KNOW what you should do” Is my modus operandi.

I find that meditation is the bulldozer that clears the way for ideas to come through.

Beyond meditating, the only other elements I would consider my routine are, 1) starting a chapter with the last sentence and working backwards, and 2) revisiting what I‘ve written to sculpt – a chip off here, a chunk on there – whenever inspiration strikes.

My process is loyal to the subject matter I write about.

There are no rules that are not limitations; and labels, names, categories and concepts are all paintings on a window that prevent us from seeing what’s really out there.

Dave McLaughlin