“I’ll quit when it stops being fun.” You’ve heard that one, right? Maybe you’ve said it. How about this one. “Life’s too short not to enjoy what you’re doing.”

Writing every day can feel like a rut, a bore, a routine of going through the motions with little to show for it. Many days the work can feel empty of passion, a flat obligation. I’ve felt all of this. And if I’m not careful, I find myself yearning for something else. Instead of settling into the routine, I find myself seeking excitement, wishing for the extraordinary, trying to engineer something new.

I’ve come to believe there’s another way—an accurate way—to look at our daily work.

Life is gift, not gain*. The daily routine, the repetition of sitting down to write at the same time each day, this practice of day in and day out effort is a gift. It’s part of the created order. With the first rising and setting of the sun, repetition and routine were invented. Structure was created for us to inhabit, as a form for our lives. 

In routine we are given a place and a peace. To seek something else is to fail to see the Creator’s gift in the daily pursuit of our creative work. For all of us there comes a day, or a period of time, when we cannot do our work. When a circumstance preempts our routine. During those times we wish we could go back to the routine, back to the ordinary. So enjoy the work each day brings––the delight of the ordinary, the gift of routine.

*This is one of the many ideas developed in David Gibson’s Living Life Backward.