Placeholder Habits


The last two weeks were fairly annoying for me. I had to wake up early for some nasty morning papers, cram a whole bunch of information in my head, and reproduce them as sensible arguments – in as legible a handwriting as I could muster.

Despite that, it was a very fun experience. I got to push the limits of my knowledge retention skills and deal, on the spot, with a few unanticipated questions. Admittedly, I had more fun than I ought.

What was truly difficult though, was sustaining my blogging habit during those two endless, draggy weeks. It probably wasn’t impossible, it just wasn’t at the top of my priority list, and so I shaved it off. And that was definitely an important choice to make; we can’t have it all at once, can we!

That being said, I wasn’t quite prepared to go into yet another season of non-blogging. I’m sure many of you encounter the same deal every now and then: a habit you’d like to keep up, but trying circumstances mean you might have to go through a period of abstinence for a while.

What to do? Thankfuly, I had a few placeholder habits in store. While I might not have been actively working on posts to the point where they were blog-ready, I was still taking out my writing cap once in awhile, shaking off the dust and putting it on. I wrote partial posts, worked on other story projects, and tended to a few small dinglings on the side.

All these lesser, but no less important attempts to keep in touch with the digital-writer side of me helped stave off my perennial lazybones. Now that I’m free from academic obligations, the temptation to collapse into a pile of non-activity is great. Still the desire to fulfill that creative drive – which was admittedly way stronger when I was occupied with exams (because hey, procrastination monkey) – is greater. To be honest, it’s a close fight. But maintaining placeholder habits helped tip the scale.

So yes, it’s true that we can’t always keep up the habits that are important to us. The vagaries of life will be sure to present some kind of speed bump that slows us down every now and then. But even so, we can still keep moving by implementing a lesser version of our habits – a placeholder of sorts that reminds us of the original that we want to be committed to. Before long, we’ll be up and running again!