At the end of my little writing challenge, I was worried about losing momentum. At the same time, I had to do some traveling, and the post-a-day schedule simply wasn’t tenable just in terms of the time commitment, to say nothing of the mental drain compounded by a worry that I’d run dry on topics all of a sudden and be left staring at a blank page for hours when the time came to write again. I told myself I’d take a week or two off, recharge, come up with a new, more workable writing schedule going forward and pre-prep some posts, so I wasn’t caught flatfooted when said schedule began.
It’s been two weeks, and the upshot is that I did in fact lose all my momentum (getting started today was monstrously difficult, considering the insubstantial nature of this post) and am not feeling particularly revitalized. Nor did I pre-prep to any meaningful degree, though I have done some work to consolidate notes on various recent readings. I did come up with a new schedule. That took me about a minute and a half and was accomplished immediately after finishing the final post of the challenge. There’s a lesson here, one which I knew already, dating back to when I wrote my dissertation, but steadfastly refuse to put into practice.
The thing that sustains a habit is continuing to pursue the habit, action begets action, and the notion of waiting until inspiration strikes is a pernicious fiction, one you tell yourself to justify/excuse inaction. This is particularly true at the outset. Once you’ve been going to the gym three days a week for a year, taking a week or two off is no big deal. Indeed, it’s salutary, you crave getting back in the gym, feel off because you didn’t go. When you’ve only been doing it for a month, taking a week off, even if it’s for a good reason, can be devastating. The writing challenge lasted three weeks.
Anyway, the plan going forward is three posts a week, ideally on a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule. The same basic “rule” of a 250 word minimum still applies. I will maintain this schedule for at least four weeks, then reassess. The one day I can justifiable skip is Wednesday, August 31st, as it’s my birthday. I might not skip that day, but I want to give myself the lee-way to do so. I’m going to keep numbering my posts. I don’t know why, but I like it and am thus going to keep doing it.
That’s it, that’s the plan. This post is a form of public accountability for the plan. See you Wednesday.