Mason Currey’s fascinating book, Daily Rituals, is filled with details of how prolifically creative people structure their days. Here’s the opening paragraph on novelist Haruki Murakami’s daily rituals:

When he is writing a novel, Murakami wakes at 4:00 A.M. and works for five to six hours straight. In the afternoons he runs or swims (or does both), runs errands, reads, and listens to music; bedtime is 9:00. “I keep to this routine every day without variation,” he told The Paris Review in 2004. “The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind.”

A repetitive daily routine seems monotonous, but consistently flipping the switch on a work mode will eventually let the muse know you are in it for the long haul. And the muse will be expected to show up, too. The sameness can lull your inner critic, that voice of caution that kills your creative fight. Mesmerized by routine, you can summon more consistently the creative force that may never otherwise appear randomly.