Why Routines Themselves Don’t Matter

Written by on August 15th, 2016 // Filed under Encouragement & Philosophy, Erika Viktor, Writing Advice


Have you fallen victim to “internet truths?”

An internet truth is a story perpetuated throughout the internet about the huge benefits you might gain if you do certain small things.

Some internet truths I have encountered:

1. If you make your bed every morning, you will be successful.

2. Getting up early will lead to wealth.

3. If you remove gluten/sugar/carbs/fat or any other substance from your diet, you will be more productive.

4. Write every day and you will be successful.

5. Inbox zero is the only way to handle the deluge of emails.

6. If you use the law of attraction, things will magically come to you.


The subtext behind all of these platitudes is that you can control your success with small actions, which is true. We go off the rails when we believe the actions are to be executed in a plug-and-play, one-act-fits-all manner.

Last week I wrote about cheap tricks. The above internet truths above are simply cheap tricks to get us to do the work. My personal experimentation and research regarding these six truths has led me to the following conclusions:


1. I hate making my bed in the morning. I don’t believe in the bed inspector police.

2. I stopped waking up at 4:00 am after two years of struggling to do so and started staying up late instead, I have been much more productive because I am a natural night owl.

3. My experimentation with diet has led me to believe that only one thing makes me less productive: being hungry.

4. Anne Rice famously took long writing breaks that lasted months, sometimes years.

5. Neil Gaiman stopped pruning his inbox and was able to write much, much more.

6. Vision boards are great motivational reminders, but if they worked completely, I would have a six-pack by now, not to mention that island home.


Understand that the above cheap tricks may or may not work for you. Your job is to find what works for you. An undeveloped artist is simply a person who is scattershot, who has no idea what works and what doesn’t because they have not invested the time to find out.

Adhering to a specific routine won’t help you. What matters, is that you have one. Using specific cheap tricks isn’t the path to success. What matters is that you use the ones that work for you.




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