Overcoming Meh through Routine

Day 2 of #Reverb10 brings this prompt from Leo Babauta:

What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?

Each day? I don’t know. I run a pretty tight ship with my limited free time. There’s not a lot of time wasted. TV isn’t the time suck it used to be, as I’ve cut down quite a bit and don’t watch nearly as much. While I do while away hours on Twitter (and, less so, on Facebook), I find great inspiration and ideas from my networks and bookmark articles for later pondering.

School cuts down on my writing time, but again, it inspires ideas and isn’t something I’d give up. Plus, in the long run, it’s worth it.

No, I’m not really looking at any physical obstacles to my writing. So let’s go deeper.

I’ve gotten over some of the worst doubts about my writing. I even have a great trick to silence the inner editor and perfectionist tendencies. (Tip: change your font color to white until you’re done, THEN edit. Much more efficient than agonizing over and changing every word as you write.)

So really, I think the only thing that really gets in the way of my writing is my uneven desire. Sometimes, I’ll be gung-ho, guns blazing, and crank out two or three or four posts in a sitting, then do light editing over the next several days. (This often happens late at night, when I feel like I must capture words on (electronic) paper before I can sleep.)

But other times, I’ll go a couple weeks – or worse, months – without writing anything for me. It’s not that there’s nothing to write about. I’m constantly sending ideas to Evernote and adding to a note in my phone. Rather, I just feel very meh about the whole endeavor. Eventually I get over it, but it can be a hard funk to snap out of.

I think exercises like #Reverb10 will get me back in the habit of writing daily, no matter the topic, so it becomes just as part of my day that I no longer think about. I never think about brushing my teeth, or decide it can wait until the weekend or when I have more time. I just DO it. It’s not even on my to-do list.

Writing needs to become the same type of habit for me. While habit and routine can’t fuel true desire, they can carry you through the meh patches. Like winter in Chicago.

This post is part of #Reverb10, a month-long project to reflect on the year nearly gone. Read all my #Reverb10 posts, or learn more.

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7 responses to “Overcoming Meh through Routine

  1. Wow! I really love the suggestion to turn your font color white. Great idea! Good luck with developing your new writing habit.

  2. Reverb is certainly helping me get my writing swagger back. I’ve actually never been a “blog every day” guy – and I imagine once this is over, I won’t be posting daily, but I needed something to spark me into writing regularly again – my blog has been severely neglected over the past few months since I moved and started the business – I sort of lost my passion for more “personal” writing. #reverb10 is my shock therapy to get back into action!

    • That’s it, Matt – the “swagger” of writing! I’m with you – after #reverb10, I doubt I’ll post daily, but I want to get to the point where I’m at least writing daily, even if it’s just for me. Very public shock therapy it is!

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