Day #30 – The Habit Thing

Wil Wheaton speaking at Rose City Comic Con, 2019
Wil Wheaton speaking at Rose City Comic Con, 2019. “I won’t speak to myself the way I speak to my dog.”

Today I am writing the post that represents the finish line, as well as a new beginning. Maybe I shouldn’t think in terms of lines crossed; maybe it’s better to think about this as just another point of information. Regardless, 30 days ago I set out to do a thing (30 days of at least 500 words each), and to create a thing (a habit for making space for writing on a regular basis), and today I demonstrate that I have done both of those. So, good job, me!

I don’t have the exact number right now (requires manually adding them up (if someone has a suggestion for a WordPress plugin that will add up word counts for selected posts, I’d love to hear about it!)) but, not counting today, I’ve written over 16,000 words since I started this thing. That is basically a third of a NaNoWriMo.

I can do daily writing, I can do it, I can do this thing. Can I increase my output? The stupid Inner Negative Voice that lives in my head and narrates all the bad in my life doesn’t think so, but that asshole is not me. Not 100% me. It’s a part of me, but not the whole.

I can let the negative soundtrack run in the background, or I can talk over it, and talk back to it. Here is something I am trying. This past weekend I went to Rose City Comic Con, and one of the panels I saw was Wil Wheaton. He has been very open about his mental health and how he feels working with it and what works and doesn’t work for him in living his life. Something he said on that panel has stuck with me. I don’t have the exact quote but the gist of it was that he realized that his internal monologue is very mean to him, and that he would not speak to his dog the way he talked to himself.

“That’s why I can sometimes be heard to say, ‘Good job, Wheaton!'” he said, and I can’t really capture the bright and happy tone he used when he said that, but just imagine how someone talks to a dog they love and you will be able to hear it in your own head.

That’s what I want to try. I want to try to create the habit of praising myself for doing good things, and to be gentle with myself when I do things I shouldn’t. And, y’know, sometimes, I just want to give myself mental pets and tell myself I’m a Good Boi, because I am, and I can, and who doesn’t want to hear that?

After today, I will continue writing daily. I may not publish what I write daily, however, but I will publish regularly, so keep checking back. I’m going to aim for between 500 and 1,000 words per day. And I’m going to drop the numbering.

But for today: good job, Moon! Who’s a good boy? You are!