Since I announced I’d be changing my writing practice, moving to Medium to write about politics, I’ve been reminded of two little truths.
First, learning something new presents difficulties you won’t foresee. Second, habits matter as much or more than intent.
Leaning something new, well, I’ve learned that politics are hard. Ha! Cue riotous laughter all around. I should be more specific. Politics are hard to write about.
See, while I can develop a political opinion pretty quickly – see a pattern and make an observation – this snap judgment methodology takes me only about 80% of the way to a substantive thought. In style, 80% works. The final 20% you can muster with bluster, impunity and good hair. But 80% in politics drives you to the border of insight and dumps you there, standing on the dry ground of your particular ideological camp. Surrounded by weeds.
Besides, political opinions affect life and death. Denim silhouettes, not. These days writing takes longer.
And the importance of habit? In the past seven years I had spent six days/week, 7-11am, either writing or pretending to as I poked around the Internet. Except when I was working, when I wrote from 6-8am and then all Sunday morning. A serious writing schedule.
When I decided to give up consistent style blogging, I also gave up four mornings/week of those allocated time slots to volunteer teaching or yoga classes. Surprise, the remaining three don’t give me enough time and space, because it does feel like mental space, to publish regularly.
Why tell you all of this? Well, first of all, because you’re my community for thinking about life. But also, maybe, this is a useful story. If my experience is to be trusted, making changes can be more difficult than expected. If you are planning a shift, be ready for a bumpy start. I don’t think it means you’re doing it wrong. And make sure that you set yourself up an infrastructure of habit and ritual as support.
I’m sorting this out. After all, nobody depends on me right now. Few dominoes have fallen.
But if you’re in the middle of a more complex change, maybe it helps to hear how best-laid plans, even for the well-resourced, can sputter. I suspect you’re doing an excellent job.
Have a wonderful weekend and here’s to never ever giving up learning.