Dollop 30 – I’ve Got A Habit

Download today’s Dollop in audio form here

Last night I had a dream in which I was receiving blog comments on my phone, reading them and then thinking up replies. In the dream I was also aware that the day was drawing on, and that I really needed to think about something to write about for today’s Dollop. Then I was awoken from my dream by an alert on my phone. It was a comment on yesterday’s Dollop. Both my real world and the dream world are centred around this daily blog project. There is seemingly no escape.

When I do go out with friends I often find that the Dollops are still a factor of the evening. Last night I was out with some friends. There was a lull in the conversation, my brain was feeling a bit foggy, I realised I couldn’t think of anything interesting to say. The only thing I could think of to talk about was what I’d written about in yesterday’s Dollop. I started to talk about the weird game of Death Top Trumps that I’d played in the pub the day before with a completely different set of friends, but I only got a few words in before I was interrupted by my friends who told me that they already knew the story as they’d read the Dollop.

“er … right, OK. Well, what else. I’ve got this new kettle …”

“Yes we know, we read the blog.”

While I was glad that my friends were reading these Dollops, I realised that this meant I now had no actual conversation topics to bring to the table. Anything that was interesting that had happened in my life over the last few days they would already know about. I used to be bristling with anecdotes and conversation topics, but now I am bereft of anything interesting to say that hasn’t already been said in Dollop form. I also don’t feel as if I’m engaging properly in conversation. I am always assessing the merit of a person’s story or conversation topic on the basis of whether it can be used in the next day’s blog. If the story isn’t worthy of being written about then I’ll stop fully listening to that person. I’ll be trying to listen into the other conversations around the table, in case there is something more Dollop worthy being said somewhere else that I might be missing by listening to what the person talking to me is talking about. This project has really started to dominate my life, and it’s turned me into someone who I’m not sure I particularly like. Still, the one thing that hasn’t changed about me is my stubbornness, and so despite all of this, I will still persist with this for the rest of the year.

The comment that awoke me was from Bill.

“I am going to create a new art form. The new art form will be exclusively about the new art form.”

OK, point taken Bill. I know that I seem to spend a great deal of these Dollops deconstructing previous Dollops and talking in detail about the challenge of getting them written and released in time. But as I’ve illustrated earlier in this Dollop, my life has kind of become centred around this project, to the point that I’m even having dreams about writing them and replying to comments, before being woken up by the sound of a blog comment coming through on my phone which I then read and reply to, fall back asleep and have another Dollop dream. Also, because the process of writing these Dollops and releasing them can be so fraught with challenges, the Dollop creating process is probably the most intense activity of my day. Hopefully, the novelty of these challenges will wear off and I’ll get more used to writing and recording on a daily basis from a variety of distraction-laden locations. Then hopefully I’ll be able to just get on with it without feeling a need to talk about the process as much. Or maybe I’ll find myself more and more bereft of things to talk about, and the Dollops will just become more and more meta as time goes on. Is it worth sticking around to find out? Of course it is. That was obviously a rhetorical question.

Apparently it takes 30 days to build a habit in the brain. This should mean that this whole exercise will be habitual as of tomorrow, and in theory should get easier. But I’m wondering what habit I have actually appropriated. My hope was that I’d develop the habit of overcoming writer’s block and being able to quickly get into a mindset of thinking of entertaining, interesting things to write about. I hoped that I would build the daily habit of being creative and I hoped that my creativity would increase with practise. But perhaps this isn’t exactly the habit I have instilled with in my brain. Perhaps I have merely learnt the daily habit of sitting down, typing 1000 words of any old thing, and hitting publish.

Perhaps my creativity hasn’t increased at all, or maybe it has suffered. Or maybe this creative fog I’ve felt over the last few days is part of a neurological process. Maybe my brain is fighting against this new habit, knowing that if I reach the thirty day mark then it will be forced to do this habitually, and I’ll be neurologically wired not to give up on the challenge. If this is the case, then fortunately I have weathered the storm, and come tomorrow I should wake up, spring out of bed, switch on the laptop, my hands trembling with anticipation, barely able to control the urge to type, ideas seeping out of every orifice. I’ll have to clean up the mess that this has caused, but there’ll be time for that later, but right now my entire mind and body is configured to blog. Tomorrow, my friends, David’s Daily Digital Dollop will enter its next stage, one where you’ll be provided with even more spellbinding topics than my new kettle, hard as that might be to conceive. Until tomorrow friends\235/,=:,,=:=,!

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One thought on “Dollop 30 – I’ve Got A Habit

  1. I notice nobody has left a comment on this one yet. I just wanted to say that it has been my experience that if you make it a habit to write, even if you’re not that happy with the outcome, I think it makes the writing process much easier next time around. I’ve just been trying to make that point to some of my songwriting friends on Facebook (see here if you’re interested Anyway, I’m not some kind of a famous person like Mr Eagle or anything; but I love anything that’s creative…. and I’m enjoying these dollops enough to have read them all so far. Still tempted to have a little flutter on the will he/won’t he make it to 365 though 😉

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