Even oatmeal has a consistency

Consistency tells us what something is made of or what it’s similar to. We speak of things being like paste or as thin as water. Consistency is how things hold together.

When we strive for consistency in our habits, that’s what we’re after — for our behavior to hold together, to agree with what has come before, to be connected. And often, what we want is to be consistent in a good way — if my habit is to check my e-mail, visit the Forward Motion board, check out Twitter and Facebook, and maybe take a gander at Web comics before I get down to work, I might be incredibly consistent, but I won’t be productive. That’s not a useful consistency.

This year, I’ve striven to achieve consistency in submitting my work, and I’ve been pretty good at it. I figured that my stories do no good sitting on my hard drive; no one can buy them there. This year, 160 submissions; last year, 40. That’s good progress. (I might even get another 6-7 out this week. If not, they’ll provide a good start to next year’s tally.)

Getting the stories out there is a good step, and I hope to continue that practice during the coming year. I also want to expand my consistency — I was pretty good (until the last quarter) of keeping tabs on tax income & expenses this year; I could be better. I finished some old work and started some new; more needs to be finished.

And then there’s keeping my desk clear . . . the less said about that, the better right now. However, I have excellent motivation on that: my husband gave me a lovely tetsubin (Japanese ceramic-lined cast-iron teapot), teapot warmer, and teacup and saucer for Christmas, and they will look beautiful sitting here on my desk. I hope to have a picture of that up within the next week or so (although, to be honest, the rest of the office is a bit of a hazard area as well).

I’m not setting this as a 2011 resolution. Just laying out my journey — this is what I’ve been working on, and where I think it might go next.

Consistency. It’s a good goal.

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  1. Very sensible — and consistent! 😀

  2. Consistency is my 2011 word – no more “well I don’t feel like it” or “work’s getting in the way” excuses. Regular writing and regular marketing. That’s what will achieve success.

    Interesting language thingy… In Spanish consistency is for porridge and constancy is for regular work. However, I like how they’re the same word in English because the texture is as important as the duration.

    • Heh. I’m working on a blog post for this week on my motto for the year — “No excuses.” Because although I’ve been pretty good at the short stories (although some sit around for a couple weeks or more before I get them back out!), my progress has been uneven in other areas, where I’ve figured average progress was good enough.

      I think there are connotation differences between consistency and constancy. In my mind, constancy is more of a decision never changed, while consistency is repeated decisions to do the same thing. Thus, consistency is more active, if that makes sense. Maybe that’s what gives an action texture? 😉

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