It seems antithetical, but I believe that creativity thrives within a routine. It took me a few years to come around to that realization, to turn my back on spontaneity and impulse. They each have their purpose, but they're not effective when it comes to doing the work required for any creative endeavor.
My routine is sacred. It keeps me aligned with my goals and my purpose. It gets the work done. Historically, when my routine gets disrupted, bad things happen: Time gets wasted. Complacency slips in unnoticed. Writing stops. Exercise suffers. Mental well-being starts to slide.
Purchasing a home and moving were two recent major routine disruptors. I left my jiu jitsu academy. My kettlebells got packed away. There was little time for my Five-Minute Journal, my morning free writing, and most important, finishing the first draft of some long-form fiction.
This type of disruption -- the life-event variety -- is the only type I tolerate. As I've written here before, in terms of training, I only take rest days when life sends them my way. The same can be said for the routine in its entirety.
I recovered by making every minute count. I didn't have an hour to work out in the morning, but I had 20 minutes for the kettlebell sequence at the top of the post. That's 20 more than zero. There's no internet access at the house at the moment, so I can't blog when I'd like to. Taking 15 minutes while I eat lunch forces me to be parsimonious. I'm eager to sample a few jiu jitsu academies to find the right fit, but the class schedules and my work schedules aren't aligned. An open mat, though not ideal, is better than watching YouTube.
It's essential for me to keep this in mind: The only thing more sacred than my routine is the work it generates.