Come on, admit it. You’ve got yourself a habit of some kind haven’t you?
Don’t worry, I’m not here to judge. There’ll be no gasps of disbelief or reproachful tutting about that habit of yours but we both know it’s there, don’t we?
I have a habit.
I bite my nails.
One of the classics I know, some could even say a little dull, but I do none the less. I’ve surmised that it could be a nervous thing but that hasn’t stood up to the scrutiny so it would appear that it is a habit rather than signifying anything more which could be lurking in the depths of my psyche.
I’ll bet you’re thinking about your own habit now. I’ll bet that without even trying, that ‘thing’, whatever it may be, is waving at you from a comfy seat at the edges of your mind and you just can’t help but wave back.
That’s how they become habits. They just keep happening.
Now I’m not just thinking about the nail biters or hand washers out there as the poster people of those with habits. Habits come in all different shapes and sizes. As a writer, habits can find their way into what I do in many odd little ways.
I do my best work in a certain location. I have to have some kind of noise round me, music or other nonsense from the internet or if I’m out and about, the sounds of the public going about their business. I don’t like working in the morning, I’m certainly a night owl.
If I’m trying to work outside of my habits then I have been known to struggle just a little harder but habits don’t stay in the realm of the obvious. The sneaky little sods just settle in without letting you know that they’re there.
Every author has their favourite words. No doubt you’ve stumbled on those words on occasion. I’m sure that I’ve leaned on the same phrases over and over again and believe me, it’s never a deliberate ploy but we all fall back to the same things that are comfortable for us.
The problem is that if I keep using the same words over and over and over and over and over and over (see what I mean) again, you’re not going to enjoy reading my work. It’s a challenge for me to do my best to always avoid continuously indulging in my habits to keep things interesting.
But it’s tough to break a habit.