Establishing a Writing Habit (Day 8) ✍️

true story
Surprised, a few interruptions from my kids didn’t keep me from the overall goal.

It’s about to be 6PM here, I’m looking forward to writing, it’s become a habit now. A weak habit, yet a habit, I can feel it, settling down with no internal argument, no internal criticism, that feeling of wanting to have a project before starting is gone, that feeling of not knowing what is coming next is gone (even though I still don’t know).

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I like this better than speaking, easier to not be rude, but also to express the soul.

I think it is because I always liked writing and also because I wrote morning pages for a few years that it only took 8 days to build this preliminary habit.

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This was just a habit, not who I am.

So much of who we are and what we are is made of habits.

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Perhaps life would have been different or could be still?

I believe in a soul with certain tendencies, but I think for far too long I put far too much of who I thought I was in the wrong box. Perhaps if I had played with children instead of growing up in the woods I wouldn’t be as introverted, perhaps if my family had meeting I would have been a speaker rather than a writer, or a painter, who knows?

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I would have missed the woods, except how do you miss what you never knew?

Washed my daughter’s dinner plates, table, brushed everyone’s teeth, I have 28 teeth, I had never known that. I had 4 more in the past, but needed them to be removed for lack of space. I always thought it was weird that an average person had too many teeth, it seemed like for all the talk of people being built in God’s image that we would just have teeth that actually fit in our mouth. So either that’s just metaphorical or there is some kind of divine dentist. But why need teeth at all in an afterlife if eating is to survive? Unless there is more eating, and then I feel like I’m going to have to wash dishes there too. Unless dishwashers there don’t need the dishes to be pre-washed. That’s as far as I’ve ever thought about the afterlife.

laundry day
Hoping if there is an afterlife it has no laundry to wash.

I was trying to team the kids up together to have more teeth brushed than me, but I accidentally set them up for failure, my daughter has 20 teeth, my son 7, so they couldn’t beat my 28 even as a team.

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Accidentally set up my kids to fail as a team for the first time.

In the past I’ve usually loved writing, I’ve written a few books I’ve discarded. I wrote a decent 240 page book at age 12, but I didn’t have the project management skills to revise it and offer it anywhere.

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What to do with this writing habit?

I’m not interested in publishing so much, more interested in creating books. I could upload my book to the open online once I finish, but finishing is a problem.

I have too many ideas, I start too many projects, last year I wrote half of two books and scrapped both rather than brainstorming what to do and finishing something.

I can be quite passionate and wake hours early to have enough time to write. I can also manage my time well and have an hour everyday and make progress that way, but yet I have never finished a book outside of school.

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In school it was so easy, everyone was assigned to do it, everyone did something, it seemed so possible in those settings. Yet now, there is a fear about doing something worth doing. At least I’ve backed off insane perfection, but even with lower standards there are no guaranties at all.

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Just seeking a shred of certainty in an uncertain world.

Perhaps if I can set the emotional bar at “poor quality or better” than that would let me work with a low enough pressure not to crush my sensitive soul before I even get started. Maybe if I pretend I’m in school and I have to turn in my homework?

chef kiss
Poor quality or better is good enough for dinner at my house!

I have a problem though, I don’t like to start without knowing why I am starting and I really don’t know why yet. Perhaps to know what it feels like to complete a childhood promise for the first time?

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Limited time, why choose that project?

Last year my sister bought me a cello, it is beautiful, I didn’t have enough time to learn to play it yet, but my father was able to pick it up surprisingly quickly having been a trumpet player it was a surprising jump. There was so much satisfaction of having an opportunity to do something I had always wanted to.

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I wanted to go to band class and learn cello, but didn’t have a cello.

I intend to learn the cello with time, but I think the greatest satisfaction is in the opportunity, that now I can, I won’t really know until I can play and then I will really know, but I can play the piano and strangely there isn’t much satisfaction in that for me.

Playing for fun can be wonderful, but it isn’t worth hours of practicing for me to be better than a casual musician.

I was taught to play piano to check my singing tune for choir, so I internalized the idea, I’m just playing to be able to check the notes. I’m a decent player, but don’t enjoy it. I much prefer guitar where I am horrible. I like the resonance of the stings under my hands, rather than hidden away.

It’s nice to remember that about myself, or I guess realize it, I never realized what I preferred possibly because I thought it was irrelevant and that I would never find the time.

I’m reading “The Phantom Tollbooth” to my daughter and the copy I have is literally falling apart as we read it. I picked it up from a leave a book, take a book free book library at the nature center, I have no idea what it’s been through, but the chapters are falling off the glue at the back after we turn the pages, there is some majesty and finality to seeing a book die. My grandfather left me a dictionary over 100 years old, that book was not falling apart as badly as this one, I don’t know what happened to this one, but this will clearly be it’s last reading.

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It’s so interesting reading the book as it falls apart…

Maybe I can write a short book for my daughter, to get her interested in reading, that way she has something from me and perhaps also I’ll know if all I wanted was to fulfill the promises of a child to the future.

For some reason my daughter is in love with Jobaria, African long necked dinosaurs. A book about a Jobaria would probably be a good project for now.


Does anyone have advice on how to pick projects, is it intuitive, is it based on what the world lacks or the zeitgeist of the time? I kind of lost touch with that part of my creative process, once upon a time I just flowed with ideas, but now I feel stuck staring down a cross roads of infinite forks.

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Any tips or ideas on how to decide on a project welcome! 🙋

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