i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

Do you have bad habits?

Clutter is killing my creativity

This morning, at 5:15 a.m., I sat at my computer  to write, but I couldn’t concentrate.

I had stayed up late again reading odd news stories, I couldn’t find any clean clothes, the dirty dishes were laughing at me from the kitchen and my ping pong table was still crying from all the clutter in the basement.

Last week I told you I was turning away from my amateur ways and turning pro. Turning Pro: An interview with Steven Pressfield.

We were amateurs living in the past or dreaming of the future, while failing utterly to do the work necessary to progress in the present.
Steven Pressfield-  Page 23, Turning Pro

Today I realize I need to do the work.  And not just the work of writing; I have to change my bad habits.

Bad habits that need to go away

  • Staying up really late. I can’t concentrate the next day.
  • Not washing dishes after I use them. The kitchen is always a mess.
  • Procrastinating. Why do a task today, when I can wait until tomorrow.
  • Rearranging the clutter. I need to get clutter out the door and not just put it in my bedroom. ( See above photograph.)
  • Whining. All the time I spend whining could be spent washing dishes, doing laundry, cleaning the basement and writing.

I should change my habits.  However, I hate being told what to do. I hate the word should, even if I am talking to myself. Don’t tell me what to do, I probably won’t listen.

However, I did ask Mr. Pressfield for advice.  I should listen to what he said about how to be a professional writer. I want to be able to concentrate on my writing.

I will create new habits.

I realize I have written several times about my bad habits and the clutter in my basement. You may be wondering, “Will Hodges ever quit whining  and just clean out her basement?”

Sigh. I started the rough draft for this story three days ago. Last night I went to bed at 9:30 p.m. I did not read any odd news stories. I didn’t leave any dirty dishes in the sink last night. All of my clothes are washed, folded and put away. I cleaned the clutter out of my bedroom. And, I wrote the first chapter in my cat, Pooh Hodges, autobiography this morning. I was able to concentrate.

It’s a start.

Cleaning out clutter

If we don’t start, we can’t finish.

Here are a few helpful articles I found that identify other bad habits that kill creativity.

Do you have bad habits? 

Please let my know in the comments. I would love to chat.


About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Berdeane Bodley

    Oh Pamela, i am soooooooooo proud of you, it was so nice to see all the clutter gone, now I am praying you can keep it that way, everything is easier to do in a clean environment…..I love you, mom

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  • Janelle

    I have lots of bad habits but one I’m really struggling with now is healthy eating. I’ll do great for awhile and I’ll feel good and have more energy and sleep better, but then I’ll slide backward down the hill. Then I am frustrated with myself.

    • Hello Janelle. Isn’t it funny how we are the one who puts food in our mouth? I do the same thing. I try to justify my poor food choices. “Oh, it’s not that bad. I can have a little bite. I can handle this.”
      I blame it on my tongue, or an emotional need.
      I will be praying for you today. There is a sunrise every morning. There is always a chance to start again.

  • Pamela, I love this honest post. I think I say that in every comment I leave. Thanks for sharing your Before and After pictures! So, so proud of you for tackling your clutter and deciding today to reclaim more order in your home. Such an amazing testimony–your clear progress–all because you set your mind (and feet and hands) to focus.

    You are an excellent writer, btw. I wish I could read and comment on your every post.

    Yes, I do have bad habits. I don’t like to excuse them. I want to take action to improve them. Progress is slow, but my goal re: bad habits is to keep moving in the positive direction toward what is pure, lovely, noble, admirable, praiseworthy, Christ-like, and good.

    One of my bad habits is disobeying my 10:19 PM head to bed alarm. Now it’s 11:16 PM and I’m commenting on this post. My wake-up alarm will sound tomorrow morning at 5! And tomorrow is Friday–the day I pray with 2 of my girlfriends. We’ll caravan to Randall’s (SBUX) at 5:50 AM.

    I share my bad habits with my prayer partners. Knowing they will or may ask me the questions I’ve given them permission to ask helps me to make better choices. I can see my bad habits less when I am honest about my struggles. My husband, who sees me most intimately, also lovingly keeps me in check.

    • Good Morning Shannon. You should be driving to Randall’s now with your friends. I pray you have a good morning sharing and praying. Hello to your friends for me.
      Progress is slow. But progress is still progress.
      Hugs to you today. And an good night to you at 10:19 tonight. I will be thinking of you then.

  • My worst habit right now is just being online too much. I spend too much time in the virtual world. So I am being intentional about being in the real world, tonight I lingered at the dinner table telling Joe and my husband funny stories, then I took the dogs for a walk and for the first time Tink pooped on a walk. I’m so proud of her.

    • Kathleen, I am proud of Tink too. If she doesn’t poop on a walk does she poop in the house?
      I am also on-line too much. Sometimes I feel like I live inside the computer. Any funny stories you can share?

      • No, she poops in the yard. Mostly. The story is too long, I will have to write about it, but mostly it is about my friends coworker who says to everything she’s asked to do “that’s not my job!”

  • I have far too many to list, not to mention too embarrassing to share. Here are a few: I hate cleaning paint brushes, so I don’t; I have at least a dozen journals with only half a dozen pages written in them; and I don’t always wash my face before bed (but I do brush my teeth). My new habit is fulfilling my daily word quota.

    • Shelley, thank you for telling me some of your bad habits. I didn’t even know I was suppose to wash my face before bed. I brush my teeth before bed and floss. Is your daily word quota in how much you talk or how much your write?

      • I wear makeup. It’s not good for my skin or my pillow to roll around in it at the end of the day. My daily word quota is written.

  • Great kick in my behind! Thank you!!!