Blog/ Writing

The necessity of habituation

In Storyteller, Kate talks about habituation:

Start with habituation. Say you have made the decision to put aside two hours three days a week and declare that time yours, your time to write. You go wherever you can write and work at it. If you are not actively writing a story, rewrite an old one, or analyze something you did in the past or someone else’s work to see how that person did it. If you are faithful to your own timetable, the day will come when, if you yield to the temptation to watch a show on television or play cards, or do something else, you may begin to feel uncomfortable, your mind may wander, or you may become restless. SP [silent partner, the unconscious] is signaling that this is your writing time. If you yield often and ignore the signals, SP stops reminding you. If you recognize the signal and go back to work, SP will remind you a little more forcefully the next time you yield. Recognizing the signal does not mean you are aware of it necessarily. What you may be aware of is that you are uncomfortable, and when you go to work, your discomfort is eased, but that is enough. Accepted signals get stronger; ignored signals fade out.

I read that passage, and realized that I’ve habituated myself to both blogging and tweeting. Blogging is easier than writing, with the chance for nearly instant feedback, the ridiculous satisfaction of tracking your statistics and discovering how people have found you. And if a few days go by and I haven’t posted a new entry, I begin to be itchy. What will I blog next? And tweeting — I only do it about once per day, but again, I’ve created an internal deadline for myself, that needling question: what tiny moment am I going to capture?

I bet you see where this is going. I’ve got some habituation to work on, and that most likely means I’ll post less often for a while. But I’ll be spending more time here:
and I hope that it will have eventual good results.

You Might Also Like

  • sara z.
    May 19, 2009 at 12:22 pm


    (Cutting down on comment length saves time, too. BTW when I’ve been away from the computer and catching up with blogs, yours is one of the few I don’t want to miss, so don’t stop entirely.)

    (Because this is all about MY needs.)

    (But then I guess I’d rather have another novel from you in the long run.)

  • Sara
    May 20, 2009 at 7:08 am

    Hey, thanks, Sara, on both counts. It is the struggle of the damn balancing act, as always; day job vs. writing vs. blogging vs. working out vs. spending time with friends vs. cleaning the house, etc., etc. But New Desk plus MacFreedom seem to be helping.

    Plus I’ve decided that above and beyond deploying MacFreedom, I’m not allowed to be online at New Desk. If I want to get online, I have to move to the dining room table (which is, you know, a mere three steps away, if that, but it’s the principle of the thing).