Scraps of code
Kicking off a one month long series of notes about 'Habit (as an illustrator)".
We think and act automatically for the most part.
Something triggers us, and we run a script in our brains. These scripts produce our actions. These scripts have been compiled over the course of our lifetime. Our brain is a scrapbook of these scripts.
We collect scripts from our experiences, school, tv, books, places of worship, bosses, friends, colleagues, parents, etc. This scrapbook is our unconscious mind, or maybe subconscious mind. This scrapbook we call a mind is a most powerful tool.
When we write, we get to organize and sort this scrapbook. Maybe the harsh thing a teacher said is not actually true. Reframe it or toss it out. Maybe I don’t want to be a doctor or lawyer or CEO. Maybe the association of starvation and creative person is just a MYTH. Whatever.
We have habits of thinking that we run unconsciously, like a computer program. And for the most part, this is a good thing. And like a program, there may be bugs.
If you can look at the code, the scripts, you can fix them. One way to be able to see the code is to keep a journal.
I use a bullet journal, which is a simple paper-based system. It’s flexible, so I can customize it to suit my needs. You can buy a book to learn how it works or you can watch a 4-minute video.
Once you see the code or scripts that produce your habits you can edit them and produce new habits.
Do you have a habit of journaling? In the comments, let me know what are some of the benefits?
Side B: Coffee vs Green Tea
All this month I’m writing about Habit. Writing clarifies my thinking so by doing this, I’m updating the scripts in my own brain. To make this month-long experience for me more visceral, I’m changing one of my most ingrained habits. I’m swapping out my habit of drinking coffee, for a habit of drinking tea. I’ll let you know how it goes.
I don’t know what I’ll write in advance for the next 30 days. But I’ve read some books about habits so maybe some of that will feature. My adventures or misadventures with green tea will also feature.
Some of the books that I have read about habit are:
The 7-Habits of Highly Successful People, (Recommended by my parents)
The Power of Habit, (Recommended by my wife)
As a man thinketh,
Switch on your brain,
The Greatest Salesman in the world (Recommended by Matthew McConaughey)
War of Art
Do the work
The Practicing Mind
I may dip into these books again over the course of the month to pull out a quote.
“In truth, the only difference between those who have failed and those who have succeeded lies in the difference of their habits. Good Habits are the key to all success. Bad Habits are the unlocked door to failure” - Og Mandino
First of all, I love the artwork! I imagine it looking great on a canvas.
My journaling habit varies. I sometimes journal during my Bible-reading and prayer time with God. I sometimes do a daily log kind of journal (adapted from bullet journaling tips). Yes, like Katie, I used to do daily morning page, but it felt more like a drag than being useful, so I stopped doing that. I did 750 words (from 750 words dot com). Now, I'm using a spreadsheet to quickly note my thoughts based on a few questions.
The idea of daily journaling is good, but for me, I haven't been able to keep to a strict daily routine for it. And I'm making peace with that.
I'm finding increasingly that—doing a daily drawing (even if it's a scratchy sketch), centres me more than anything now. On days when I wanna push myself to go on, despite my brain and body telling me they are spent; if I change my go-go-go pattern to doing a daily sketch, my mental state changed, my mind becomes less foggy. And I'm inspired and recharged again.
For a while I did daily morning page, word vomiting my first thoughts onto a page. Lately I’m less religious about it, doing it when I feel I have more time, space and energy. I noticed towards the end when I was doing morning pages daily I was going so fast and Austin Kleon’s post last week reminded me to slow down. https://austinkleon.substack.com/p/the-magic-of-the-brush The days I don’t prioritize journaling are the days I need it most