Habit noun 1 a tendency to behave or act in a specific way. 2 A practice which is hard to give up.
Chambers Concise Dictionary
When does a habit become habitual? I imagine there comes a point when you don’t have to mentally prepare yourself as the discomfort no longer comes from the anticipation but from the lack of practice.
I’ve embarked on Crystal Moody’s A Year of Creative Habits, and this attempt somehow feels less daunting than my previous one. I suppose it’s because I don’t have to stick with one thing, such as completing a pencil drawing or flower sketch every day for the duration. My creative outlet can vary with the weather, or my mood. So if I want to draw for a couple of days, then feel like a bit of knitting over a weekend, then that’s fine.
One thing I’d like to do stop is my being distracted by housework when the thought of popping into the studio to try something creative feels a little too overwhelming. At the end of each day, I’d like to (at the very least) see how my daily minimum of 15 minutes-of-effort builds on the previous day’s activity, so I can plan the next step on my creative journey.
Spark. Habit. Reward.
“Habits have three basic parts. First, there’s what I call ‘the Spark’. That’s the event that triggers the habit.”
The call to action. I’ve started setting myself a 10:00 alarm so no matter what time I get up, I can get my ironing out of the way, then I can focus on my creative work for a while.
“Next, there’s the habitual behavior.”
The act of behaving creatively, perhaps a page of sketches for my character idea, or a beautifully rendered pencil drawing of a mushroom.
“Third, is the reward.”
This could be the smug, warm feeling that I’ll feel when I’ve completed another sketchbook page, or the homemade chocolate brownie I promised myself.
This is a subject that fascinates me, so I’ll be revisiting it frequently, and testing out lots of different suggestions I’ve collected from books and bloggers over the last year or so.
Have you successfully established a creative habit? Any tips?
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