Habits appear out of nowhere, or so it feels. But in reality, a habit is formed by repeating a behavior over and over.
So, can you intentionally start a habit? I think you can, I’m going to try. While I’ve posted about drawing before, I haven’t devoted the time needed to develop as much as I would like. It’s an off and on hobby. One I wish I took more seriously.
And isn’t that silly? To wish you took something seriously when you could simply adjust your sails and make it happen?
This time, I’m putting pencil to paper and making a change. I’m starting a daily drawing habit.
Don’t worry, I do realize stating this is the easy part. Developing the habit over time is going to take some willpower.
But here’s the thing: I know it will pay off. Drawing is a skill, it simply takes persistent and practice to get the results you want. To have the images in your head appear on the page. Like any skill, practice is key.
Ignoring the voice in my head that says 15 minutes a day isn’t enough, I’m going to start with 15 minutes a day. Because that feels manageable. That feels like I’m setting myself up for success (and I want to succeed!!).
In the morning, before looking at my phone or checking my email or reading the news, I’m going to draw. For 15 minutes. And if that ends up being 30 minutes or longer, great. But 15 minutes is a start.
Kids love trick-or-treating for a number of reasons; you're allowed to be out at night, you wear a wacky outfit (often of your own choosing), and you never know what you will collect.
Yes, there is typically candy. A lot of candy. But their bags also fill up with microwave popcorn packets, spider rings, stickers, and one year, a plant.
No lie, last year, or was it two years ago, I can’t remember, but one year, a neighbor gave out clippings from a spider plant.
I loved this idea and laughed, smiling at the neighbor with grateful appreciation as my daughter ran to the next house. One, I’m guessing, she was anxious to collect chocolate from.
Fast forward (one year or maybe two) to now. I’m on the porch admiring a plant. Suddenly, it occurs to me that this is the plant. Larger, leafy, and rooted, yes, but it is still the Halloween treat.
I so appreciated this unusual Halloween handout and wanted to thank them again, for the fun memory and a thriving porch plant. But, I’m not in the habit of ringing the doorbells of neighbors I don’t talk to regularly. I’m not up for an awkward conversation about passing time.
So, I drew the plant. Colored it with watercolor pencils. Then, I taped the drawing with a short note, thanking them for the Halloween treat, to their mailbox.
Maybe they’ve forgotten that Halloween, or maybe they have a flurry of spider plant thank you notes flooding their mailbox. Either way, it was fun for me to create and then give that creation away anonymously.
Whether it’s a plant that had to be trimmed back or a watercolor ripped from a drawing pad, it is satisfying to give away something that might bring a small smile, Halloween or not.
Mali Anderson is a Chicago-based content creator. She creates blog posts, web copy, original photography, and feature articles.