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Archive for November 19th, 2009

Getting in the habit…

2009-11-19Where in the world am I today?: St. Thomas boarding the EMERALD Princess.

I was trying to come up with a clever image to go along with this post and I’m not sure dental floss is really the best thing I could have tagged to go along with the thought that’s buzzing around in my head for today’s post, but it’ll work to demonstrate the point I’m trying to make…

Back when I was in middle school, I must have been 14 years old or so I convinced myself that I needed to have better dental hygiene. It might have been a particularly bad check up at the dentist or a visit to the school from an oral hygienist, or some other freak thing that just tweaked in my head, but from that point forward I determined that I would made a habit out of regular flossing. At the time I learned that it took between four to five weeks for most things to become ‘habit’ so I set about the task of flossing religiously for a month and by the end of the month it had indeed become habit. Something I didn’t even think about and something that has, ever since, meant that my visits to the dentist are far less expensive than had I not set about developing this habit reasonably early in life.

I keep going back to how impressed I was with Jim McDonald and the discipline he demonstrated to the craft of writing comedy while we were working together on the ISLAND Princess last week. Every day he’d sit down to write and every time he went up on stage he’s try out two or three new lines that he’d written either that day or that week. I was just really inspired to try and get into this habit of daily work on improving my show. The post I wrote about ‘Scrivener’ spoke of my initial efforts to organize my thoughts so I had places to put ideas and bits that pop into my head that I think would be good additions to the show and I’m moving slowly towards making a habit of more diligent efforts on my show which feels good.

This blog is another example of getting into a regular habit. When I started at the beginning of the year I had no idea if I’d run out of things to say or topics to discuss and would certainly welcome ideas from anyone who happens to be reading as to content suggestions or questions that they might like answered, but somehow, even with out too much feedback I’ve managed to come up with things that I was able to write about for the last ten and a half months and the well doesn’t seem like it’s even close to getting dry yet, so I’ll just keep generating content…

I’ve mentioned Mike Wood’s Funny Once A Day project that he mounted on Twitter… Another great example of setting a goal and making a habit out of it. There’s great strength in creating these work habits as it generally separates the people who succeed and are able to continually generate material, content, new works, what have you, and those who get complacent and stick with what works with out ever really pushing past a certain creative plateau… If possible, escape the seductive lure of such complacency and keep pushing forward with new challenges and new habits that keep you looking to improve on what you do. The sooner your able to get into the habit, the more you’ll benefit from it over the long haul!

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