What is important to you? What must you do everyday? What is not currently a habit that you want to become one?
I have been wanting to establish an every day writing habit for years now and I’ve mostly succeeded. I purposefully write about five days per week, even more if you count work. But the purposeful, personal writing is the habit I’m interested in achieving. I want my writing to be an absolute part of me for the rest of my life.
Reading about writing, taking writing classes, talking to other writers, I seek to understand what it will take to make it happen. A few weeks ago I hired a writing coach; her daily check-ins keep me focused and provide direction.
I’ve learned over the years that if I want something to happen in my day, something that is non-essential to other people, I’ve gotta do it first. Mornings are sacred to me, ritualistic even, and my writing generally happens then.
Except when it doesn’t. Some days work has me up earlier than normal and at an event first thing. In those situations, my tea with honey and essential oils is the only sacredness I get.
My writing coach, Jen, says ten minutes a day. No matter what, carve out ten minutes in your day. If it’s usually mornings, go for it, but on those days when that’s not possible, commit to ten somewhere in the day.
Being a perfectionist makes life feel impossible. It’s really not a good thing. I write wanting the words to flow. That’s not how it works, at least not for me. The writing, the very act of it, is about getting words on the page (or screen), coherent or not. Editing is something else altogether. Editing shapes the words and sentences into something others might understand, and I guess that’s my dilemma. I not only want to write every day. I want to polish a piece for other people’s eyes.
After going through many years of not writing and feeling the difference between then and now, I want to keep a momentum. I want to write, edit and publish here each day. It’s my way of recording life. So much moves through. I want to watch it. I want to see growth. Now that my mom is gone and I have nothing left of her, writing is my commitment to my daughter. Ten minutes a day may not get me all three, but it will put me one step closer to my goal.
So whatever it is for you, writing, reading, being in nature, practicing yoga, playing an instrument, drawing, sitting in meditation, painting … commit to ten. It will become part of you, an essential part you’re not willing to part with.