An Introduction to Routine

On the first evening of the new year, my friend Steph and I crouched on the cold concrete floor of my garage with hammers in hand. Small metal rings were scattered before us, along with metal stamps of the alphabet. We’d spent the prior hours journaling about our intentions for the year ahead and distilling them down into singular words we’d imprint onto the metal rings that now lied before us.

Each smash of the hammer was a rush. Would the indentation be deep enough, clear enough? Would we have positioned the stamp correctly? And there was a childlike joy in the playful act of using our hands and own force to change the course of an object, to send it on a new path. The music of the strikes sang a chorus that was sometimes timid, sometimes resolute, always moving forward.

The words I struck that evening were: acceptance, voice, inertia, routine.

And those words have indeed guided the work I’ve done within myself and within the world over the first two months of the year. But as the year has progressed, I’ve reflected on the practice Steph and I embarked on that evening more wholly—one of looking at the many parts and finding the theme that ties them together.

When I transitioned to full-time freelance writing and editing work nearly three years ago, I imagined having all the time in the world to write creatively. My mind filled with images of soulful afternoons spent in coffeeshops, gazing wistfully out the window, sipping a piping hot London Fog, and penning my thoughts. In reality, these first years required a lot of intrapersonal work alongside a great deal of grit to turn enough freelancing gigs into a sustainable business. I’m proud of the stable place I’ve grown my business into today. And I realize it’s from that stability that I can begin to dream again about that woman in the coffeeshop who writes simply because it’s what makes her heart sing.

Indeed, I want to make that woman a routine.

A friend recently told me how she had described me to her partner: “Writing sparks joy for Korrin,” she had said. And to have someone outside of myself choose that descriptor as being one of the most important for painting a picture of me to another added fuel to the fire I’ve been feeling to carve out and prioritize more space in my days for creativity again—to weave writing back into my every day.

Weave, like the way the many details of a story braid into an overarching theme.

This is a long way to say that each month this year, I’d like to write about the word that bubbles up to capture what that period of time meant in my life. And I write these words now so that the five of you who read this blog can help hold me accountable. Meaning, I write them now to hold myself accountable.

I realize it’s already March, so there is some catching up to do, but I’m ready to chew on these words and string together a yearlong necklace of what 12 months of one human’s life looked like. With my newfound joy of metal stamping, I may just turn that into a literal necklace. Stay tuned.

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