Wednesday, July 14, 2010

On Habits.

It was pointed out recently that my consumption of hot tea corresponds directly to my productivity. Days I drink tea, I tend to accomplish more words written/edited. Days I forgo tea tend to reap far less words.

Now, this connection was not one I made, but something the DH pointed out to me during a grocery shopping trip. I had to think about it, and look back over the previous weeks, but I realized he was right. When I'm really focused and really cranking out work, I go through several cups of tea in a day. When I'm floundering and poking at the manuscript with the same trepidation as someone jabbing a stick at a sleeping bear, tea doesn't tend to be involved.

Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying the tea is a magic ingredient to my writing, nor am I saying that drinking tea on bad days would improve them (though it might, lol). I'm actually saying the tea is part of my writing habit--one I never realized I had until it was pointed out to me. Like opening the blinds to let natural light in and turning on music, putting on the kettle and fixing a cup of tea is a habit--a ritual, if you will--that I indulge in while writing. It's not necessary: I've had plenty of productive days sans tea, but I do find it interesting that I gravitate toward this one habit only on productive days. I'd try to analysis it, but the fact the habit occurs when I'm focused means I'm unlikely to waste time thinking about why I want tea at that moment.

Have you noticed (or has anyone pointed out to you) any habits you demonstrate more often when you are productive? Tendencies that correspond with certain activities or events?

I hope everyone's week has started well! Now I think I'll go boil some water and see if I can't trick my brain into a productive day and make this newly discovered habit work for me. Tea anyone?


Demon Hunter said...

If I have any habits, Kalayna, I'm not sure what they are yet.

I know I need noise. Whether it be television or music. Maybe I'll try working in complete silence and see if it makes my stories creepier. :-D

Anonymous said...

I need absolute silence. If I don't have silence, my concentration shatters.

The dogs cannot be in the room, even if both are completely asleep. Just seeing them makes me go into MommyMode: who needs to eat, who needs to go outside, does he look like he's lost weight, is that a flea, etc.

I didn't notice it until my roommate started giving me death-glares, but I also tend to write best when I have the TV on (muted, of course). I like being able to look up, make sure nothing terribly interesting is happening and continue writing. I choose only the moderately-engaging shows on purpose -- they're interesting enough to be worth glancing at, but never worth continuing to watch. Nice bite-sized, five-second-long procrastination.

Took me a few years to notice this, but I can't write two pieces in a row with the same word processor. I guess I have commitment issues or something.

the Gardner said...

My work is creative, though it is not writing. I've noticed two things: 1 -I've developed a routine. 2 -I "create" at 1-1/2 hour intervals with 15 to 20 minute breaks in between. If anyone cares it goes like this:

* 1-1/2 hours housework
* breakfast (most "normal" people are just sitting down at their desks)
* 1-1/2 hours creating
* walk in the garden
* 1-1/2 hours creating
* lunch
* 1-1/2 hours creating
* inspirational reading (Emerson of late)
* 1-1/2 hours creating
* make dinner
(the evening is a whole 'nuther routine)

Kalayna Price said...

Tyhitia and Solly, I envy both of your abilities to work with the TV on. If a TV is on anywhere in my vicinity I will find my eyes moving toward it--and getting stuck there. It doesn't matter what is on: I can't look away!

Gardner, it is always good to step away for a few minutes every once in a while. I usually forget that until I realize most of my lower half has fallen asleep. ^_^