Forming Habits

The thing with an exercise like this is it shows you how easy habits are to form and it proves how much slower time is than everyone thinks it is. Think about it. Ten minutes of writing a night. I don’t have a word counter going but I imagine I am writing somewhere between 300-500 words in ten minutes time. Especially when I am not trying to finely craft the words. Think of that for a second. 250 words is the average amount of words on a commercially published page. That means I could finish a novel in six months to a year. That isn’t such a long time when you think about it. Especially compared to how long a life is.

That is the importance of forming habits. You start to see what else you can do. What if I sat down for ten minutes to warm up the mind and the muscles and then added another ten minutes on of finely crafting words. Building a world, storytelling, all that. I have a good story inside of me somewhere. I haven’t been able to bring it out yet but it is there. Perhaps one night after writing this I will open the word processing software and reset the timer, and once I start it would be foolish to start. It is just ten more minutes after all.

Then after that six months to a year of writing out whatever story I have to tell, crafted ten minutes at a time, I will have a first draft. Then it is all about reading and editing. Pairing it down, fine crafting the word choices, keeping things consistent, and keeping the audience engaged. The hardest part of it all is starting, and the hardest part of starting is coming up with a plan.

That is what a habit is. It is a plan you execute everyday. It is a small and often insignificant part of your day. Most of the time you don’t even think about your habits. You just do them. Why not add ten more minutes before bed. Take one of the stories kicking around my mind and start writing it down. Start trying to get something going. Then once it’s begun there is nothing to do but carry it to the end and then once I reach the end the only thing holding me back is the fear of rejection and I’ve been rejected enough in life that I shouldn’t fear that anymore.

I should count these words. It is a little surprising how much I can get out in ten minutes. I’m not thinking that much about what I am writing which probably makes it easier. Or not. I am not sure. Is it better to sit down and write with no idea of what you’re going to say, some idea, or the whole thing sketched out before hand? Or is it better to sit down and write?

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