Are you there yet with that habit?

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I’m writing this post in my room at the Holiday Inn Express in Exeter. I’m here until Friday evening delivering two, two day workshops back to back. Why I’ve left writing this blog until nearly midnight when I’m dead tired physically and mentally, I’m not really sure. Well maybe I am. It’s all about habit. I have to get into the habit of blogging, which is to say, make and keep a regular schedule and executed  it without fail.

I suspect many people are going through the same game as me trying to solidify those New Years Resolutions made with such conviction a mere 14 days ago. I know I have been procrastinating getting started reviving my blogging game. Starting is the hardest part after all. I’ve found over the years that the best advise for getting started comes from the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland when he tells Alice to ‘begin at the beginning, and go until you get to the end and then stop.” It’s as simply as that. 

Or maybe not.

They tell me it takes a minimum of 21 days to form a new habit. If that’s true, and you’ve been faithful with your New Year’s Resolutions so far, then you have another 7 days for them to become a habit.

<<fast forward>>

OK I see it’s going to take some getting used to, this blogging with a vengeance thing. So many distraction – Facebook, Twitter, email, texts etc – but as distracting as these social media outlets are from actually pounding the keyboards, they do provide a stimulus for ideas, a fuel I can consume and put into words (at least, that’s what I tell myself).

I should take a selfie right now as I am in the imagined idealised position of a professional blogger – I am lying in bed, relaxed and writing. Now if only I didn’t have to think about rousting myself up in a minute to get ready for work, it would all be bliss. Hugh Macleod wrote a book, Blogging In Your Shorts, well right now, Im doing one better, I’m blogging in bed, half naked.

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Apart from the residue of a weird dreams, I woke up with a burning question on my mind. “Have you found your why yet?”

Part of the workshop I’m running today uses Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle idea [link to the youtube clip] which is basically about operating your daily life from the inside out beginning with your purpose, your why for doing what you do. I love the part of the video where he asks the question “Why do you get out of bed in the morning and why should anyone care?”

That makes me think of my blogging – what’s the purpose of this blog and why should anyone care? (long pause while I contemplate the realities of that question, especially the second part)…

The purpose of this blog for me is self-expression. I’ve known that since I was 13 that I was an artist and a writer, but like many creatives, I got caught up in the pressures of societal conformity. I grew up in a military environment. You can’t get more conformist than that. So while interior me longed to be a writer and an artist, exterior me, knew that going into the military was the right and proper thing to do. I suppressed the artist, told him to shut the fuck up for a while and be practical. And he went silent. For 10 years or so, I barely heard a peep from him. The occasional doodle, the occasional scribble, but that was it.

It wasn’t until I became discontent with the army that he started to resurface, basically asking me, is it my turn yet? Towards the end of my army career, I started drawing and writing again, but I also had more responsibilities, more “grown up” things to contend with, so I told him to chill again while I made some money. This time, he didn’t go quietly and has been nagging me and nagging me ever since.

This blog, or should I say the re-invention of this blog, is the outlet for the artist and writer in me. To make this possible, I have had to abandon my old thinking. You see, being a product of my generation, I’m plagued with the traditional ideas of writer/artist, that is to say books and art galleries. While those avenues still exist, they are so old school. The social web makes it possible to by-pass all of that and go straight to the people…all two of you. Ha, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is giving an outlet to the voice(s) in my head, and hopefully along the way inform and entertain you, which answers the second part of he question, which is “Why should anyone care?”

Ever the obsessive with labels, despite the fact that I believe what, Soren Kierkgaard believes that ‘labels negate me’ I still can’t shake the habit of wanting to find a suitable label what for my blogging brand. I’m thinking something like the Herodotus of the Internet or a 21st century Montaigne. So either a chronicler of things on and offline or a personal essayist whose subject matter is himself. I guess I could push the boat and be a cross between the two.

Great. I now have my ‘why’, ‘what’, and ‘how.’

Ok peeps, until next time,

clay lowe