My Writing Partner is a Rockhampton Ribeye


This past weekend, I returned to my neighborhood Outback and enjoyed a steak and diet-friendly steamed vegetables. I’ve treated myself to Outback for the past two weekends in a row for three reasons.

First, I’m trying to reward myself for having lost 12 pounds since the January 1st. Sure, I wish it was more, but losing 12 pounds is a lot better than slowly gaining, which is what I’d been doing for the past few months.

Second, in my quest to get healthier, I’m trying to condition myself to eat more veggies. Outback steams its veggies and they’re quite good, so going there and having them reinforces the fact that potatoes — fried or mashed — shouldn’t be what my mind considers the only option when I choose a side for my main course. I now have a steamer at home, and I plan on making use of it.

Third, for some reason, I’ve found that a booth at the Outback is a pretty good place to write. There are the distractions of other patrons, but I’ve always been a people watcher, so when I come to a brief block, I just glance around until I zero in on someone who has some interesting feature or gesture, and I make notes. Quickly enough, I’m back to writing whatever scene I’m working on. Even the clap-riddled birthday song they sing isn’t a thought-breaker.

Last Saturday, I wrote five new pages while waiting for my food. I also made notes about the next chapter. That’s not bad considering the fact that I wasn’t waiting that long. I’m seriously considering going to a Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million and trying to write a couple of pages in their eatery. I wouldn’t want to do all of my writing in such a noisy place, but I’ve discovered that occasionally, I benefit from a change of setting and noise level.

My trainer tells me that it takes four weeks to create a habit. If one does something regularly for a month, they will condition their brains to want to continue doing it. That may work for exercise better than writing. There are days when I don’t feel like writing anything else because my day job is writing-related. On those days when I don’t feel like writing anything in my story and I force myself to do so anyway, the results are never that great, so for me, it’s almost a waste of time.

Still, perhaps I need to look into this “four weeks makes a habit” concept a little harder. There are worse habits to have, after all.

Patrick is a Christian with more than 29 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.