I’ve made a habit of breaking a habit. And it’s disappointing.
How many posts since 2008 (first year I blogged) have said something like: “I’ve been away for a while, but now I’m back!” How many of those posts were then met with days, weeks, or months of silence? I’d love to see a line-graph of posts over that period.
It’d look like an irregular heartbeat.
Have you ever been to a gym in January and thought “holy smokes this place is busy”, only to find by March there’s more empty machines than filled ones?
That’s because It’s easy to commit, but it’s harder to sustain. “I’m going to to X” is different than “I’ve been doing X consistently for a long time now…”
Why does this happen? Why do I decide to write, announce that I’ve started writing again, then stop writing?
I know part of the answer is habit. I haven’t made writing a part of my daily activity stream. Believe me, I try, but it just doesn’t happen. I love writing. It helps me organize my thoughts and communicate directly. Writing also leaves a trail of how my thoughts on issues have evolved over time, which is useful to honing my decision making skills and Baloney Detection Kit.
And I know part of it is not wanting to sound stupid. If I don’t take the time to write about something important, and most importantly write with some degree of sophistication, then people will know for sure that I’m actually a dumbass. Why am I afraid of this?
And I know part of it is because I’m busy. But am I any busier than the people that write the blogs that I read? Heck no.
And I know because I’m impatient. I enjoy writing because of the conversation with myself, but I’d be lying if I didn’t crave more engagement. I know it takes time to add value and build a readership (if it ever happens). But seriously, why so long?
And I know it’s partly because I’m not accountable to anyone. I don’t have a readership to let down.
But I’m sure there’s more. I could say “hey I should do some research then write about it”, but that’s a failure loop I’m not ready to initiate!
Notice how each of the above points is connected to being an entrepreneur. Mindsets I’ve had to get over while starting things in the past. Not wanting to fail. Not fully committing to an idea or giving up on one too soon. Not having the courage to stand by a decision. Or not fully focusing on a process.
All these problems kill new ideas. They kill my writing. And that’s scary.
So if you write, or create, or produce, how do you stick to it? What rhythms and routines keep you writing, creating or producing? How do you avoid putting aside time to make your commitments?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments, but it’d make me a hypocrite to ask you to write : )