Have you every wondered why it was so hard to do something that you want to do, but seem to avoid doing it? For example, wanting to write for an hour to get started on that story–suddenly the dishes need hand washing, the trash cans need clearing out, and the dogs need walking. While completing these chores, the plan to write is still present, but never happens.
I listened to a scientist on NPR talk about how the brain builds connections that solidify the habits we engage in. The brain wires and rewires, in part, based on what we focus on doing. Spend lots of time doing the same things in the same way, and the brain records those practices. This might explain why habits are so difficult to change.
There is hope. The brain is adaptable. We just need to plan reasonably and patiently what is to be accomplished, or what new habits to create. Using the above example, writing for an hour in a day might not be where the person’s can find success. Start with 5-10 minutes of dedicated writing. This goal is easier to accomplish than the hour. If you write longer once, celebrate the moment with a fist pump. Then get back to it. At some point, in a week or month, add 5-10 minutes. Again, keep it “easy”–writing is never easy 😉 This repeated practice can lead to the brain recording new habits.
Keep the rules and boundaries simple and limited. Less is more. It’s not important that you write in the morning, use a specific journal or word-processor, or sit at a certain cafe table because that is most conducive to your writing. Those restrictions can be obstacles to the important outcome: Just write. When those conditions are available–great–just do not allow them to get in the way.
Failure is not an end, it’s a growth opportunity. If I write everyday and then I miss two days, stopping is not an option. Reflect on what caused the lost practice. What it just chance or some obstacle that needs to be addressed. Next: Jump back in.
As you create your writing resolutions, what are you willing to do that is already in your habits? What will take some brain growth over time? Be intentional and reasonable so that success will come.
Here are some writing commitments shared:
- Dive deep into A NEW LIFE, book 1 in my vampire series, and see what needs to be done so it’s ready to be published.
- Write on a schedule instead of when I feel like an idea is brewing.
- Market HOT BLACKTOP more.
- Continue to develop new stories in a loose format so when I’m ready I can start writing the novel.
- Expand promotion of my book: So All Can Learn: A Practical Guide to Differentiation
- Read at least 12 books this year.
- Write 1-2 short stories.
What are your Writing Commitments for 2018? Share them in the comment section.