“We become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions.” Aristotle
Consistency often gets a bad rap. “Conforming to a regular pattern; unchanging”—that’s how my handy Compact Oxford Dictionary defines it. Now, some people think this is boring, repetitive, unimaginative. In fact, the mighty Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his essay Self-Reliance said that “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”
Mmmm…. Let’s keep in mind that our boy Waldo said “a foolish consistency”—and I agree! Slavish, unthinking repetition is soul-deadening, not liberating. And that’s far from what we want as creatives, as kindred spirits of the pen and seekers of the Muse.
Still, in a world that’s filled with distractions, there’s a lot to be said for consistency. Having a system, a steady way of working that you can rely on, can be enormously helpful in many ways. Let’s count a few:
Consistency can keep us from being lured by all kinds of bright shiny objects seemingly designed to keep us from putting our butts in the chair and doing our work.
Consistency helps us weather the buffeting winds of circumstance. Even in instances where our life is disrupted, turning to tried-and-true approaches to work can give us an anchor in the storm.
Consistency creates intensity and focus. When we have a steady, reliable way of working, we free ourselves to focus with intention. We provide ourselves with a framework that frees us to be creative.
Consistency signals to the universe that we are ready to work—we’re showing up, ready for action. And the Muse shows up when we do.
So let’s not be slaves to routine. Let’s free ourselves to fly by taking a steady, devotional approach to our work as we all write on!
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