Guess how many blog posts I wrote in March? Zero. ZERO!!!! And it’s not because I was working on other cool writing projects. I didn’t write. Period. I didn’t create. I consumed (Facebook, Twitter, books, articles, documentaries)…
Yes, as writers, we need to read, but not at the cost of not writing.
I have so much to share—big ideas I want to push out into the world. And this is, perhaps, the problem. I’ve been stuck in an analysis paralysis of sorts—feeling like I don’t have enough time to tackle these big ideas or whittle them down to blog post size.
Sure, I’ve started a few blog posts, but they never saw the light of day. The scope was too big. Or the subject too grim. Sad words sitting on virtual pages in virtual trashcans.
It’s time for a writing habit reboot. I have so many things to write. For starters:
- A guest post for Mad in America
- A story for The Pill That Steals Lives (max 200 words, okay I can do that!)
- A first post for Thrive Global (theme: mental health)
- Weekly blog posts here!
The Writing Ritual
I could read forever about other writer’s rituals (consuming again, see!). But I won’t. I’ve read enough to know that everybody has a different ritual, but common best-practices include:
- Write daily.
- Set aside time.
- Always carry a notebook.
- Have a word count goal.
- (And yes, read a lot.)
I’ve done this before. And I can do it again. This is how creative work happens. It’s not magic. (Okay, it’s a little magic, but mostly hard work.)
Time is our most precious commodity. We have exactly 24 hours each day to use as we see fit.
The average person in the US has about five hours of leisure time per day. We spend most of that watching TV or being on the computer. Socializing and communicating gets only 41 minutes (but that’s a different story).
I should clearly be able to carve out at least 60 minutes each day to write. That would get me to about 500 words per day—or a short blog post. (This one is 454 words. It took 57 minutes to write.)
Here’s the tricky part. I have a lot of things competing for my time. I work full-time. I’m involved with a couple of community projects. I’m working on an MBA.
But with all that, I find time to exercise, eat, sleep, be with family and friends. Read. These are my priorities. The solution is to prioritize my writing hour over mindlessly browsing Twitter trends on my phone or scrolling through my Facebook feed.
My writing hour is going in my calendar. Right now. At 7 am.
Now the hard part will be to stop writing at 8.