Baby Steps

5/27/2011 08:15:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 9 Comments »
Well, I actually added some dots to the drawing I now call "Dotman".  It's a start, and you know what?  It really felt good!  Probably like most of the rest of you, I have a fairly busy weekend coming up, so I don't know how much I'll do on him until next week, but just the wee bit I got done has given me a boost of confidence.  Now I just have to make sure I keep moving forward.  I'm thinking that even if I don't put even a single dot on him, I can do some wee thing for five minutes or so.  Every little bit helps, right? 

So without further ado, here are my most recent dots!


5/26/2011 03:51:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 10 Comments »
I've read many times that if you want to develop a new habit, doing it for 21 days in a row will cause the behavior to become habitual.  I believe that's true for most of us most of the time.  I've tried it and, indeed, I did turn something into a habit.  After looking up the word "habit" in my trusty (albeit old) Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, I was surprised to find that the definition I had in mind was the 7th in a list of 9!  It was preceded by:   clothing;  a costume characteristic  of a calling;  bearing;  bodily appearance or make-up;  the prevailing disposition of a person's thoughts or feelings;  a settled tendency or usual pattern of behavior; and finally, the one I had in mind - a behavior pattern acquired by  frequent repetition that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance.  OK, that was more than you wanted to know.

Anyhow, thinking of building new habits led me to wonder about how long it takes to lose a desired habit if the behavior is interrupted for one reason or another.   I've never seen any research about this, but I'm guessing it takes a lot less time than 21 days!   I've talked about this general topic before, but here I am again struggling with the same issue.   Some of you know I was quite sick for about 6 weeks plus more time to reach a full recovery.  During much of that time I was literally unable to pick up a pencil to draw (not to mention use my treadmill).  That said, I've been physically healthy enough to do both for at least 3 weeks now, but have done neither.

Every day I tell myself that I'm going to start drawing again.  Every day I don't do it (never mind the treadmill - that's another matter completely!).  The supplies are all out on my drawing table, and I often hear them softly calling to me .  I feel guilty and uncertain of my ability to draw anything.  And because I've not been drawing or painting, I've also not been posting to my blog.

So, here's what I'm going to do.  I remembered an ink drawing I started years ago  of a wonderful face.  I was trying out a method new to me - using nothing but tiny dots.  Yesterday I looked for that drawing and found it after a relatively short search.  I'm hoping that by only making dots (what's so hard about putting a dot on a piece of paper?) I might get back in the saddle.   (It just occurred to me that here I am posting without drawing one thing, not even a dot .... what a chicken!)   Wish me luck, please.

Here is the drawing I started all those years ago (it's probably been at least 12!), and I'll post more as I go along.  My goal isn't necessarily to finish it, but rather to just start drawing.   Besides, I may need him again sometime in the future to lead me back to the drawing board!