I’ve been reflecting lately on the role of discipline in achieving goals.
As most people in moderate income blocks whose work was impacted by the pandemic can attest, life’s been difficult lately. Despite my entire past (or maybe because of it, now that I’m confronting it in therapy), the past year and a bit has been one of the most difficult periods in my life. Constant stress, anxiety, loneliness, and the pandemic itself has left me with little energy or even desire to create. Even my old constant of working on projects to fill my time until I don’t have the energy to even think about what is bothering me failed eventually.
So now I’ve spent the last 6 months getting myself in order. I finally broke down and built myself back up again. I’ve gradually built new, healthy habits, made my peace with doing what I can, and have reintroduced various types of creative work until I’ve gotten to where I am now. Thinking about updating my blog again. Maybe daily, maybe five out of seven days a week, maybe twenty times a month, maybe just whenever I feel like it.
What I know is that discipline is important. That doing something every day can have greater rewards than whatever you produce day after day. Even ignoring the stability, habits, and structure it provides my life, there’s still a lot of benefit. It tones my creative muscles. It builds my creative stamina. If you do a variety of work, it even helps you grow stronger (creatively, anyway: typing still doesn’t do much for my muscles).
Last time, I updated this blog every day with a variety of content, pushing myself in new directions and trying new things. I wanted to see what I was capable of creating and how long I could keep it up. It was very rewarding, if exhausting. This time, I just want to get something done every day. Explore a thought. Write a little something. Share some context-less stuff, maybe. A little something, every day.
I actually started writing a haiku a day, just for me. I never intended to share them and I doubt I ever will. They’re just for me. Little notes to myself about how I’m feeling, what I’m thinking about, or what seems most urgent at the time. It has been great practice because I have to keep it concise and simple, but I also don’t have to worry about interpretation. I can just express myself and create something with zero value to anyone but myself. This blog will probably be like that. If people get something out of it, great, but it’s mostly for me. A way to track and chart progress in a more visible manner than just writing to myself in a google drive folder like I tried a couple months ago.
I wrote a bunch of BS trying to justify what I’m doing and then deleted it because I do what I want and I am going to post stuff here that I enjoy making. That’s what I’ve learned this year. I have so much I enjoy doing that there’s really no reason to spend time doing stuff I don’t enjoy unless I’m getting paid to do it. Or, you know, I have to do it in order to maintain a sanitary living space (I really hate vacuuming, okay? But my carpets need it on the reg thanks to my dust-producing bird, Fidget. The little dust monster makes my apartment look like a centuries-old catacomb if I don’t stay on top of that every week).
So there’ll be more of this. Stick around, check it out, or don’t. I’m not your boss. Do what you will enjoy.