"If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten."
This is one of those make-you-think pieces of advice. If I do what I've always done, I'll get what I've always gotten. That's great--if I'm satisfied with what I've always gotten.
The trouble is, I'm not.
I'm not satisfied in my writing. I'm not satisfied in my exercise. I'm not satisfied in my personal life.
So why do I go back to familiar patterns and comfortable routines? Could it be precisely because they are familiar and comfortable? I've heard that most women wear 20 percent of their clothes 80 percent of the time. We have our favorites, the clothes that make us feel good or that hide our figure flaws or that flatter our complexions.
Isn't that the same as to why we choose the same behaviors over and over, even when they don't prove effective or have outgrown their usefulness? Let me share a quick experience with you. I received some feedback from an editor about a book project. She gave some compliments, then ended with the troubling comment, "There's too much introspection."
I've received similar comments (and rejections) from other editors. "The characters spend too much time thinking. They don't interact with each other enough."
Why, then, do I persist in writing instrospective scenes? Because they are familar. They are comfortable. Too bad that they keep earning me rejections.
What other familar, comfortable patterns am I stuck in? I won't bore you with them right now--it could get downright depressing. I'll ask, instead, what patterns are you stuck in? Do you have things you want or need to change?
So, for today, I'm grateful for those rare times when I change what I've always done and get something different than what I've always gotten.