Trying to establish a habit is the hardest thing. People have a tendency to get really enthusiastic, go real hard in the beginning, and then slowly peter out. Generally, the reason people dip out if because the results of their daily effort aren’t as great as they think they should be. If you’ve just started an exercise program, it’s probably going to take a while to see results. If you just began drawing, you’re not going to be the Frank Quitely anytime soon. That’s simple reality, but it’s a hard thing for many people to deal with.
Part of that is because we have the reigning myth about successful people who just naturally understand everything about their chosen field. In reality, those folks had to go through the same things everyone else did, they just started earlier than you did. Still, it’s hard to divest yourself of this myth. You aren’t seeing results, so obviously this is not your thing.
I’ve fallen to this a few times, notably with my exercise habits, Japanese studies, and my drawing ability.
The former I’m taking active steps to fix, this blog is my attempt at improving my writing chops, and I have a side project to sketch something every day as well. (I may post those sketches to this blog as well.)
But even in the beginning, it’s real easy to fall off the wagon. I almost missed today’s post. I got busy, had things to do, and then I looked up and it was 1am, I was tired, and I just wanted to close up shop for the night. Instead, I decided to make writing the priority, stay up a bit, and keep my promise. Go me. Luckily, I’m in a good enough life situation where I’m not losing out of any real responsibilities to get this done. (Sorry if you have kids, multiple jobs, or night-shift work.)
Well, I digress. “Things to do” is actually putting around on Twitter and NeoGAF, reading people’s messages and replying where I felt I could add witty insight. I honestly burn a good part of any day just refreshing Twitter, NeoGAF, Penny Arcade Forum, and Millarworld. Keeping up with the joneses, so to speak. That effort probably could’ve been used on getting this blog post done in the afternoon, not at 1:43am.
To create, you do have to consume. You have to read, watch, and listen, drawing content from everywhere. Other people, experiences, vacations, books, television shows, comics, movies, and more. But at some point you have to hunker down and regurgitate that shit in your own special way. The work you create is uniquely you and unfortunately if you spend all your time consuming other people’s work, that magic never flows out into the world. It’s perfectly fine if you don’t want to have a creative release valve, but I think that’s valuable for everyone. Plus, I have places I want to be and things I want to do.
That many words to say I’m going to be doing my best to prevent myself from putzing around on the internet. It feels good, but it’s a waste of time really.
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