Although it’s pretty much run its course, one of the hottest, almost ubiquitous buzzword trends in the publishing world is the subject of habits. And as with all trends, for every inspiring, original, life changing book that surfaces, several dozen shoddy rip-offs are bound to follow. That’s true with anything, really, and I’m not disparaging the current behavioral modification boon; if anything, I wish that the whole self-discipline, sit down, do the damn work principle came naturally to me.
So the past few months have been a struggle, a war with myself to adopt the work ethics of a prolific writer. If only I could grasp my double, the writer identity, and smack him across the face while shaking him like a can of whipped cream, screaming, “WHY DON’T YOU JUST GET IT ALREADY?!” Write every day. It’s a rather uncomplicated, straightforward maxim. Of course, my brain has to twist those three words into a convoluted astrophysics equation I try to solve while pushing two boulders up two separate mountains.
My “thinker” identity could benefit from around-the-clock mega-doses of tranquilizers. He’s really not that bright, just pathologically hyperactive.
It takes twenty-one consecutive days of performing the same activity before it becomes habit. I think that I just might have crossed that milestone. I haven’t recorded my daily hours or word count, but not only have I been writing every day, what I manage to accomplish is more than rearranging a sentence or two and then calling it a day. What I produce is certainly significant, which leaves me at this point to confront my biggest handicap– the absence of any patterns that might suggest the framework for a daily routine. And this is an equation that I’m prepared to solve, knowing that unless I graduate from habit to routine that book will never get written, those short stories will pile up, cluttering my folders, all unfinished. I’ve wasted too much time living in accordance with my mood, without a plan, waiting for inspiration, letting the terrible and trying days drag me away. I know I can conquer my resistance, and that it has to start now.