Writing used to be a habit for me. So much so that if I wasn’t writing I got antsy. I’d scribble things down in meetings or while driving. Anywhere to get that fix.
That type of need… I mean, focus happens with a lot of things (like the gym, running, etc) but, it’s easy to lose.
But, I’ve lost it.
Part of the reason is I had a lot of life changes this year and thought I could slide a bit here, then a bit there. But most of it was thinking that publishing filled the same purpose that writing did. That they both “counted” as writing time.
And, boy was I wrong. Writing is writing time. Period.
Now, the habit is broken and each night I sit down to “work.” And while, yes, writing is work and often harder than anything else I do in my life, at the same time it was never “work.”
So, what if you did the whole “21 days to a new habit” thing with writing. Whether it was a time or a number of words or a style or whatever it is you wanted to be your new habit? Would it change your writing? Would it change your writing life?
I’m going to find out.
For the next 21 days, from 9pm to 10pm BST I’ll be writing. WRITING. Not googling vendors or writing my interviews or blogging or tweeting or doing anything else that takes up writing time and kindasortanotreally feels like writing.
Writing. Words. In my WIP. The first couple days this will be editing the second Ridge View Secrets book. Then after that it will be writing words in my Tanner manuscript that I promised several readers.
But, every night, there will be actual work on a ms.
RULES I’M GIVING MYSELF:
- Time can be shifted on the weekend
- If something comes up that is unmissable, time can be shifted on a week day
- Unmissable is not “hey, want to see a movie”
- Unmissable is “hey, want to jet to NY to see the premiere of this movie”
- I will give myself a break on pages/word count to begin with. This is all about bichok for the same time frame each night
- I’ll be honest with myself. Cheating doesn’t get you anywhere and I’ll own up to cheating.
- I will also cut myself a break. Pressure to perform can sometimes kill creativity. Things happen. Acknowledge them, address them, and move on.
21 days ends on Sunday, Sept 15th. That’s just three weeks. Yes, the end of summer is in there and Labor Day weekend and getting ready for guests. I thought about delaying this but then I realized:
THAT’S EVERY DAY LIFE AND IF YOU CAN’T WRITE THROUGH EVERY DAY LIFE, YOU CAN’T WRITE.
So, I’m challenging you –> It doesn’t have to be an hour. It doesn’t have to be any time frame. It doesn’t have to be anything but a way to grow your daily writing habit.
Yes, it’s hard. Yes, I’m worried about if I can do this again even for three weeks. But, there isn’t anything in the world that’s easy to start. And blah blah blah cliche about nothing good is easy. But, if I can change my writing work to a writing habit, life (not to mention writing) will be better for it.
ARE YOU IN? If so, what’s your new habit?