After so much sustained effort on the novel, it’s to be expected that all my routines since I finished it and started the new semester at the same time. There are some things I’ll never compromise on. For instance, I’ll never intentionally smoke a cigarette or take a drink or go a day without writing. But, generally speaking, I’ve become a bit more sympathetic to the idea of breaking my habits when I need to. For instance, last night I only got four hours of sleep, so today I decided to break my940-day no-coffee streak. Tomorrow, I will begin the no-coffee streak again.
I wasn’t always this way. I used to treat all my initiatives in the same way that I treated quitting drinking: if something is worth doing, then it’s worth doing all the time, every day. And I am still theoretically in favor of doing that. I certainly don’t build in ‘cheat’ days, the way that some people advise you to. But I also believe that you shouldn’t value a goal more highly than it deserves. Not drinking coffee does improve my quality of life (for instance, I have a terrible headache right now and I am probably going to find it very hard to fall asleep tonight), but it’s hardly on the same plane as not drinking. I’d give up a lot–friends, money, jobs–in order to keep my sobriety, whereas not drinking coffee doesn’t deserve nearly the same amount of effort.
Anyway, I do hope to get back onto a bit of a more even keel as the semester progresses. Maybe I can even start cleaning the house and buying groceries again.
P.S. In January, I wrote 190,000 words and spent 171 hours writing. That’s like doing four NaNoWriMos in one month.