Friday, March 14, 2008

18 or 30?

by G.Parker

Those who are age conscious will look at that title and think I'm going to talk about the differences between a teenager and an adult, or something related to it. Fooled ya, didn't I?

A long time ago I heard that it takes 30 days to set a new habit. It doesn't take very long to undo it, but it takes 30 days of repetition for the habit to be set. Last Monday in a work meeting, someone said that it takes 18 times of doing something to set it as a habit. I thought that was interesting, and my writer's mind immediately took over.

In this meeting, they were discussing how perhaps they were repeating themselves in a newsletter they sent out to certain people. It was stated that most of the people didn't keep track and didn't realize it anyway, they all thought it was great.

In my mind I went over our blogs for the past year, and I know at one time or another, I've probably repeated myself, or mentioned something that someone else has said as well. No one has sent us hate mail, and none of us have noticed it ourselves enough to comment, "Hey, didn't I talk about that last month?" So I guess we're good.

But have you ever noticed this phenomenon yourself? I figure this has a lot to do with what we are trying to do as writers. We are trying to get ourselves in a routine -- make our writing a normal every day activity. A group I'm associated with does a Book in a Month thing where they try to write anywhere from 30 to 50,000 words in a month. This is not associated with the National Novel Writing Month, but it's very similar. The whole point of the BIAM project, however, is to get one used to writing every day.

I know that's one thing that I've mentioned before. Sound familiar?

I'm sure in the years to come as we hone our skills as writers and continue to grow and develop, we might repeat ideas or suggestions that we come across in our blogs. Your challenge is to see if you remember it. Does it sound like something you've decided to do and when did you decide to do it? Repetition doesn't hurt when it's a good habit. What kind are you developing?

I've got to get back to my story.

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