Habits

For Good or for Ill?
Not that it matters much. It’s the conclusion to “National Write a Novel Month,” and the beginning of the Holiday Dailies, and I’ll participate in neither “meme.”

The most recent novel-length manuscript I finished took more than two months to complete. Even at that, it’s still shy a firm editorial hand, but like a parent with children, I have to let it fend for its self, for good or for ill. That one needs an agent/editor/publisher, in some order.

Astrologically, it’s a good time to pursue this type of endeavor. Sun in Scorpio? Yes, write that book. Sun moves into Sagittarius? Perfect time to publish.

However, that’s not what this is about. Although it might not be obvious I struggle towards concise and clear prose with lyrical, meaningful content. Brevity yet fullness. My regular column runs every week at 2-3K words. That’s one or two novels in a year. So, as far as I’m concerned, there’s the novel.

I used to play with several sites that encouraged posting daily. How short is our memory? It’s a habit, either good or bad, depends, but I’ve been doing this daily, or almost daily, without a significant interruption, for more than 11 years?

I wonder about why someone has to be coached, coerced, coaxed into writing everyday. If it can be done for a month in a row? Current (arm-chair) psychological modeling suggests that it the effort then becomes habit.*

*Do it every day for a 21-day cycle and it’s habit. All the time it takes to change a behavior. Allegedly.

Instead of setting this as a goal and instead of churning out a novel-length manuscript that is over-wrought, I go with a pace that I find comfortable. Consider that it is an average of 10K words in this web-journal each month, with some new experimental prose just up and around the corner.

Stay tuned.

Or, as one correspondent signs it, “Be well, do good work and stay in touch.”

Price Points:
That cup of coffee, an espresso-branded cup of coffee – my typical afternoon libation – a simple double shot of espresso, costs right at $2. With a dollar tip since I’m obnoxious customer, that’s $3.

The monthly fee for the scopes, the up-to-date, timely, comforting and irascible, all at the same time, with a weekly video on Monday included, the total package is $2.95 for 30 days. Less than one thin dime per day, and certainly less than a cup of coffee.

As a transaction, the simplest way to explain it, it’s like buying me a cup of coffee in exchange for an extended forecast – for a whole month.

(yet) Another New Feature:
There’s a big difference between lurkers, lookers and readers. My canon tends to reward readers. Lurkers and lookers? Not so much.

I found one “feature,” all ready rolled into the software, and, for now, I think I’ll like this very much. Way it works, hit any of the sites I’ve worked on recently? The first page will have a Google Banner Ad across the top. Click down one level, to read or individually view items? Banner ad goes away.

astrofish.net
kramerwetzel.com
BexarCountyLine.com
Flat48B.com

I thought it was a cute – but rather useful – feature.

astrofish.net and its family of websites participate in affiliate programs, which means there are material connections between the ads, and this site.

astrofish.net/travel for appearances —
See the fineprint for full disclosure and terms.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Sarah Nov 29, 2009 @ 10:34

    I read Xenon, every day, via Bloglines. Comments, though? Only when moved or inspired. I wrote a blog entry on habits aeons ago. Wonder if I can find it and re-post it.

    Habits are good things. Just do it. Don’t have to ponder and urge and resist and re-create the pattern. It just flows. Like brushing teeth; who thinks about it any more? Thought is for creative stuff, insights.