Sunday morning doodle
I’ve been trying to cultivate habits in my daily life over the past few months. It’s been going well enough. I feel like I’m in the very early stages, though, as I’m not requiring much out of myself for each habit. Here’s a list of the creative ones (the rest are mental/physical fitness related):
10 minutes is an incredibly low bar and the intention is to exceed the 10 minutes, of course. The low bar has made these habits attainable though. And I can confidently say that I have met my daily habit goals very consistently for about 3 months now. Progress on the stories I’m writing is still slow, as I rarely decide to write for longer than 10 minutes. Still though, It’s adding up to 70 minutes a week, and were I only writing on the weekends, I doubt I’d sit for longer than an hour, so I’m still patting myself on the back.
I started trying to cultivate these habits without a great idea as to why I was doing it. I knew I wanted to get better at drawing, painting, and music. But as I started doing these things on a regular, daily basis I began to recognize that I am a significantly more sane person when I’m being creative, so this sort-of forcing myself to do these things daily has helped to keep my mind in a good place (for the most part). I also discovered that I really thrive on routine. Weekends and vacation are actually more difficult for me now. Structuring all of that open time is somehow more daunting than squeezing in the required 10 minutes here and there on a regular weekday.
I’ve been doing this for 3 months now and the rewards have been great so far. I have renewed confidence in writing, drawing and music-making and I have confidence now to call myself a writer, artist and musician again.
I’ve discovered I’m yearning to complete work now, even more than I was before I’d started these habits. I used to want to record a new album, but now the feeling is more visceral, somehow. I want to record and finish this album. Same goes for the stories I’m writing.
I think I’m writing this as a marker for myself. A check-in to gather my thoughts after 3 months. I’m hoping I’ll keep all this up until I die. Maybe I’ll do another check-in on these habits in a year or so. I feel like it’s time to work on more concrete goals for these pursuits, too. It’d be nice to have some fun stuff to show for 2014.
One of the first stories I ever wrote was for an American Lit class my junior year of high school. I can’t remember the book we read, but it was by a woman? took place in the south? After we finished the book everyone had to write a paper. I don’t remember there being specific instructions—the…
In order read:
It doesn’t matter what time of day you work, but you have to work every day because creation, like life, is always slipping away from you. You must write every day, but there’s no time limit on how long you have to write.
One day you might read over what you’ve done and think about it. You pick up the pencil or turn on the computer, but no new words come. That’s fine. Sometimes you can’t go further. Correct a misspelling, reread a perplexing paragraph, and then let it go. You have re-entered the dream of the work, and that’s enough to keep the story alive for another 24 hours.
The next day you might write for hours; there’s no way to tell. The goal is not a number of words or hours spent writing. All you need to do is to keep your heart and mind open to the work."