Behavioral science tells us that it takes 21 days to develop a habit. Well, I decided to test this theory out on myself for two reasons: 1) to see if this theory is a crock of sh*t and 2) to see if I, while lugging my sh*t detector, could concurrently accomplish something I'd been unable to do in years - writing on a habitual basis.
Well, today's blog entry makes this day 21. And is it a habit?
Do queens love drama?
I've always had this sneaking suspicion that I was prone to addictive behaviors. Which is why I've steered way clear of illicit drugs and which is why I didn't try alcohol until I was 25. Fortunately, my addictions have been predominantly constructive and inexpensive: reading, googling, thinking, taking tests, live performance, and a couple of other things I'm not privy to discuss here... yet. And here's another to add to the list - blogging!
I am obsessed.
But did it take 21 days? For me? No. For me, all it took was one euphoria - albeit 3 hits - to get hooked. That euphoria actually came [oh sh*t, that's my spot!] on day 3. Ironically, that day's entry mistakenly got deleted. I cannot begin to describe the crash I felt when I hit <<>PUBLISH<>> and there was nothing there--armsful of balloons hurtling toward Iran or Eritrea or any other place where no one I knew would ever read them. It did occur to me, for one split second, that I could never recreate that entry the way I had written it that day. And it also occurred to me to give up on this little project altogether - over a thousand words erased as if they'd never existed. But they had existed! The euphoric orgasm of words sizzling through my bones and out of my fingers was so great that I knew there was no turning back.
The next day's entry, "1-800-NO-IDOLS," when my cable went out, picked up right where the previous left off. And I began to recognize a consistency in tone, a prosaic voice that I - having written poetry almost exclusively for my writing life - never knew I had.
By day 6, the "Making Dollar$ Without $en$e" entry really made it official. Part tragicomic/part neurotic/part wise-ass/part social critic is when I am at my best. And over the course of the previous 20 days, I can see moments where it all came together... and when it all fell apart. In the words of D____l R__p, "here is beauty; but when you fail, you fail dramatically."
I dig that. As a matter of fact, I love that.
Thanks to this experiment, I have written over 11,000 words in the past three weeks - eleven thousand. I don't know that I've written 11,000 words in the past three years! And I love it. In the process, I did things I never knew I was capable of. I hope you've enjoyed it.
But don't start rolling the credits yet. Though I won't be posting daily, now that the habit is developed, I'll continue to post three times a week - more personal anecdotes, more social commentary, poems, upcoming performances, announcements, reviews. I've got a lot in the works this summer - a couple of trips. Thanks for your support so far.
And also, in the words of the fine Southern eatery, Picadilly, "If you don't like it, tell us. If you do like it, tell a friend." Further, whether you do or don't like what you see (if you feel anything at all), feel free to use the comment fields to let me know. You can post anonymously.
And if you say anything mean, Marvin is a nice guy; he won't talk about you. Just ask Queen James!
M. Ayodele Heath
On the plate this week:
- "Rent" at the Fox Theatre
- Troubling the Waters: Navigating the Things Black Folks Just Don't Do Handbook (Part 2 of 2)
- an undercover assignment