Jul. 23rd, 2015 09:10 pm
prgrmr: (lionize)
[personal profile] prgrmr
People, as we all know, are creatures of habits.  Those of us who are OCD-driven are not just creatures of habits, but often (rightly or wrongly) defined by them.   Losing an old habit or acquiring a new one has always been a challenge for me.  I was in my 40s before I finally realized that my comfort zone isn't circumstantial but habitual.  And not tied to any specific habit, tied to *having* a habit. You'd think that would mean I ought to be able to shuffle out old habits in favor of new with relative ease, but no.  The habit-holding is part and parcel with the comfort zone, and once established, the thought of losing it because subconscious anathema.  I don't know if it means that it takes me any longer to establish a new habit, but I am pretty sure it means it takes me a lot longer to let go of an old one.

We tend to think of habits purely as actions.  And why not, it's the obvious thing to do. Habits are about repetition, regularity, about having schedules and fulfilling expectations.  Having a visible, if not tangible aspect to the habit reinforces and validates all of that.  But, habits really start out emotional. My OCD amplifies that emotion motive, making even a fleeting idle thought a possible new need. And all without consideration to the already considerable backlog of habits and compulsions. 

The up-shot of this is that deliberately creating a new habit is a choice to run against my personal grain, to exert a conscious force of will over my overly-autonomous subconscious and its catalog of habits. Now, we all know that "writers write, always".  So if I want to be a writer again, I have to write. In order to do that, I need it to be a habit. In order to that, I have to do what feels like rewiring my brain from the outside.  It's a maddening exercise in influence by indirection, in engendering an effect by ridiculously peripheral causes.  In managing my time and my energies and my mental focus and emotional disposition so I actually feel like writing along with having something to say.  All of which are being influenced, changed, managed, and manipulated my other habits (including necessary ones, like having a day job).

Combine that with my natural procrastinary nature, and this has taken an absurd amount of time to get going.  Inspiration only goes so far.  Time for discipline.
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