Friday, August 19, 2016

Changing Habits

I have been disconnected to my creative outlets for a long time. There are reasons for this. Namely, in the past all of my creativity was done in a sphere of "checking out" of the real world; disassociating from all the things that hurt me. I never did the traditional alcohol or illegal drugs or misusing legal drugs (well, I did have caffeine withdrawals when I gave it up, but caffeine doesn't make  you forget your problems anyway, so I don't think that counts). My Mormon upbringing coupled with all those anti-drug lessons I got at school made sure of that. (Yeah, I was one of those weird kids who actually paid attention to that stuff, even when my friends didn't.)

I thought, hey, Camp NaNoWriMo in July can help me get my act together. Summer was totally free since I am done with school and currently don't have regular work. Boy was I wrong. There are some definite habits I need to break that's cutting into my writing time and writing mojo. (I suspect the same is to be said of music and art and chainmailling.)

But then I started thinking, maybe that's the wrong way to think about it. Breaking something is often seen as harsh and uncomfortable. Breaking a bowl is met with swearing. You can break a bowl while remaining calm (I know, because I did that once and it was quite shocking how I didn't lose my cool). Breaking in a horse is traditionally violent, but you can gently convince the horse to be your friend without beating the horse. Breaking up a relationship is painful, even when you know it's the right thing to do. 

So, I'm thinking about changing my mental state. I'm not breaking my habits, nor am I going to call them bad habits. That's me judging those habits. I have those habits for a reason. At some point they served me. They no longer serve me and now it's time to change it up. It's gonna be hard, but it will be worth it to make those changes.

I'm gonna make changes gently, becoming better friends with myself and the parts of myself that I need in my life right now that just isn't consciously present. In some ways, it'll be liking ripping off a bandaid. In other ways it'll be a long slog like a full marathon. Time to dust off the sprinting skills and the marathon skills. Which are two different sets of skills by the way. You gotta move your body differently when you sprint versus when you marathon. One set of skills is giving you as much power as you can to move as fast as you can for a short amount of time. The other set of skills is a conservation of energy to allow you to keep going as long as you need to.

So, back to writing, and changing things up so I actually get in the writing time I want to get in. I have a fan fic to finish. Yep, I'm writing fan fiction instead of my other stories. Specifically Harry Potter fan fiction with the premise being: what if Petunia raised Harry as a single mother and she and Harry have a positive mother/son relationship? How would that change the story? When I'm done with the first year, I'll let interested peeps read it.

I know I've been a bit vague about specifics, but really, it's about self-assessment and reflection. It's saying, Hm, I didn't meet my goals. Why not? What's preventing that from happening? What was legit and what wasn't legit? What do I need to change from there? Then honestly reflecting on it and doing so without excuses or judgements, and without kicking myself. Why?  Because bullying and belittling myself harms my creative spirit, and no thanks to that.  I'm my own friend now, and I'm not gonna jeopardize that good relationship with myself over some things I need to change.