I am taking a creativity class this week. This one is from an illustrator named Jessica Abel. I have decided to set aside the other challenges since this one seems the most pertinent to me: and it’s only a week.
Here are my thoughts so far.
Distractions, habits and why things are hard and easy.
Why are habits hard to break? Why don’t will power and discipline work?
Have you ever heard the term “thoughts are things?” They really are. Each thought and movement causes a physical action inside your head. When you have a thought, synapses are formed in the brain and nervous system. They are the connections between neurons. The more you repeat the thought or action the stronger the connection in the body/mind. So before too long you find yourself doing something literally without giving it a second though. Because your body has taken over, you have to be really conscious to stop the action.
Example: When I think about a big project, say, starting an epic graphic novel, I find myself feeling out of my comfort zone and getting overwhelmed. I procrastinate by playing computer games. “Just for a few minutes” I tell myself.
Not only is it easier to play computer games, or cook, or watch a movie because of my physical environment, it is easier because my brain has formed the stronger connection which makes me able to play without much mental, physical, or emotional effort.
So I must combat that desire to fall into easy habits and work hard to start a new and complicated project. Once the synapses are formed and strong, it feels uncomfortable to not do that thing. So even though it’s hard to start that big project, once I decide to do it, I begin to actually change my brain, and the task stops being a chore, and becomes pleasurable.
I’ll have more thoughts on the challenge tomorrow.