Habits: hard to make, easy to break

I was keeping a journal. A notebook I would write in every day, a thought here and there, a list of events. I have trouble remembering things that happened more than a few weeks ago, so it’s a nice help to my distracted brain to write them down. I was into it for a while. I got a nice pen, I would bring it to work with me every day, and write any thoughts as I had them… but for the past month, I just… haven’t been doing it.

Why did I stop? I don’t know. It’s easier not to do something than to do it. And once you don’t do it once, its easier not to do it the next day, and the next and the next, until it transforms from something you forgot to do, to something you used to do.

Doing anything is hard. It’s so easy to sit and stare at a TV show, or read a book, or play a video game–passively experiencing someone else’s creation, instead of creating for yourself. It is infinitely easier, and really, not that much less rewarding sometimes, to read a really good book than it is to write something good.

So why do it? Why do anything, when it’s so much easier to not do it and just passively experience what’s already been done? It’s not for the money, that’s for sure, or the fame, or respect, cause you have a similar chance of winning the lottery than getting that kind of recognition for your creations. So why do it?

I think, because it satisfies a deeply human need to create. Even if no one, or very few people, experience your creation, it is still  yours and it satisfies some impulse we have to make changes in our environment, to shape the world to our ideal, to spread our ideas and feelings to others. To communicate.

When we watch a show or read a book, we are being communicated to by the creator. And though that can be enjoyable, anyone anywhere can only take so much being talked to before they want to do a bit of talking themselves–even if no one is listening.

It’s easy to slip into the habit of being an observer, and much harder to make it a habit to create. But I think it’s worth the effort, even if it never pays off in any tangible way, it will pay off spiritually, and emotionally for you personally.

So all you creative people keep doing what you do, even if it’s just for you!

 

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