Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Habits, Bad and Otherwise

Isaac asked about habits here and this really landed for me. I'm coming back to writing and theatre after a pretty long layoff. Though, the more I think about it, the more I realize that the layoff, in and of itself, wasn't all that long, maybe three or four months, but it was intense. For a variety of reasons, I was seriously giving up theatre and looking for something else to do. I recently decided to come back and then, almost through sheer luck and providence, I found myself with a reading scheduled for next month. So now, I'm trying to get back into the habit of writing. And, man, it's hard.

Not writing is suprisingly easy. You sleep late, stay up late, drink too much on weeknights, get into all kinds of trouble. No need to carry a notebook around. You can spend as much time on facebook or Daily Kos or whatever gets you off as you want. It's a good, easy life.

But I found out pretty quickly that it's really unfulfilling and unsustainable. Drinking is a terrible, terrible hobby. No matter how good your day job is, it's still a day job. And so...back into the breach, right?

But what I'm dealing with as I dig back in is how to make it sustainable. The writing I did before was full of bad, bad habits. Waiting until the deadline is looming to get working. Overloading myself to take advantage of every single opportunity that presents itself. Being so close to the deadline, there was never really enough time for rewrites, re-thinking. Just getting enough on the page to satisfy. Like I said, bad, bad habits.

So I'm trying to learn new habits. But it's definitely slow going.

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