as i stood there, gravity forcing me to the side, and the guy next to me politely and discreetly offering his shoulder for balance, i couldn’t help but think, “how’d i becoming one of those unbalanced, newbie T riders?”
the truth of the matter is i don’t ride the T much anymore. i live and work on the same side of the river thus removing my need for daily subway rides and turning me into an uneasy rider. i can’t seem to remember when to bend my knees, when to lean against the curve vs. when to lean into it, all of which used to be second nature. back in the day, i could listen to my ipod and read a book and still remain solidly in place, but now because of disuse my T riding habits have gotten rusty.
which left me thinking about my writing habits… previously, i was only writing when the mood struck, not when the word count needed to be up, but since i’m now in the “disaster draft” stage of writing (as coined by bria quinlan), i need to be writing as often as i can.
i’m working hard to develop habits that resemble a professional.
even though i have been writing more regularly, it’s important to remember that just because i’m setting up these habits now, it doesn’t excuse me from hard work. even if it’s only 400 words a night, it’s reinforcing that pattern of sitting my butt in the chair and writing. i’d rather my joints get rusty from sitting too long than my words from non-use.
another way to make sure habits take hold is accountability.
one way is to have write-ins with friends. another way is to announce my goals on twitter because the twitterati always and randomly show up to support and challenge me. it’s that whole team mentality. it’s easier for me to get something done if i know there’s a deadline, but self-imposed deadlines (which are all i have right now) only work so well.
the solution is that i’m training myself to be more open about my actions so that the proper people (or improper if the case may be) can offer support and guidance and cheerleading.
and i’ll continue to hope that when life (or the T) takes an unexpected turn and my good habits take a nose dive, there will be a shoulder to lean on (thanks, random guy on the T) or someone to calm the panic (thanks, bria) or the saying “old habits die hard” comes true.
how do you feel about habits — are there any that can be unlearned? re-learned? do you have any you wish you didn’t? any you wish you did?