"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." --Ralph Waldo Elmerson
I learned this quote some years ago from one of my writing teachers, the revered and talented Stevan Allred. I had remarked how my later chapters were structured differently than early ones. He shrugged and laughed. Since then, I've adopted these words as the wisest of guidelines.
Last week I began feeling like a disorganized slacker of a blogger. I only made three blog posts, whereas I'd always prided myself on, you guessed it, consistency. Nevermind that I was working hard on revising a novel. Nevermind that the flurry of fall school activities started, and we were out of town two days, and it was my birthday week. See how the Hobgoblin runs amok?
Sometimes, some things must slip. You're not a hero for keeping an impressive schedule: you're a hero if you can decide what's important, and make choices accordingly.
When I remembered the shrug, the laugh, the quote, I was perfectly at peace once again.
Structure, consistency, and regularity are all good attributes for the creative worker. But for heaven's sake, let your focus be on what really matters.
What are you obsessing over, that ultimately doesn't make a whole lot of a difference?