Let me just get it out: I’m all for habits. I’m super habitual. It’s how you learn anything really, sitting down and grinding at it, again and again, until it’s done. I love habits.
At the same time, I’m very against the ‘you have to write every day’ philosophy toward writing. I can’t write every day, I’m not a full-time writer, and life gets in the way. Hey, I don’t even do my full-time job every day, so why should I expect to be able to do that with writing?
You just got to find your methods, lay down your habits. Every other day, every third day, once a week, twice a month. Whatever you have time for, you do you.
I try my very best to stick to a relatively strict schedule of writing every evening, except for the weekends. Then I do mornings or afternoons. And most of the time that’s fine, but I realized this year, that I was biting over more than I could chew.
Tuesday is my busy day. From when I get home from work, I usually have around an hour or so to get changed, eat, and be out the door again, then I’m not back until late. Sounds like plenty of time to get some stuff done, right? That’s what I thought. So I shoehorned a session in. Every week, every Tuesday.
But I realized by the time I’d sit down, get my documents ready, get in the zone, it was nearly time to go. I kept disappointing myself. Week after week, that session would turn to shit in my hands, and it ruined my day.
Which is why I finally decided to stop trying. I don’t write on Tuesdays anymore. I’ll read, blog (like I am right now), check my Twitter, or maybe write up some notes from my phone, but that’s it. Those 30 minutes of actual work I might have been able to do, those can wait till Wednesday, and that’s fine.
My habits are still the same, just an hour shorter. I don’t think it’s affecting my writing much, but it’s making me feel a lot better about it when I sit down to work.
And that’s worth a lot to me, I realized.