2021.01.24 by Josh Erb; 379 words.

I've had the goal of establishing a consistent writing habit scribbled into various notebooks for the last 10 years. A few times, I've nearly made it stick, but I've never gotten to the point where I would call it a "habit".

Trying to better understand why this is, and I'm beginning to come to the conclusion that it has to do with a creatively absurd admixture of reasons. The primary one being the pressure I put on myself to have something interesting to say. Sure, if I were publishing somewhere other than this blog, that might be an important pressure. However, I currently am not, and therefore this pressure is a false obstacle I'm putting in front of myself. I can publish anything here, anytime I want. So why shouldn't I? Within this space, the rules are mine.

Other reasons worth mentioning? I put additional pressure on myself to maintain a militant consistency as I embark upon establishing the habit. I make the plan to write every single day from now until the time and then I despair the first moment I miss a day. Then one day becomes two days becomes entire months. Acc

The final factor I'll mention: I want to write because I am a great admirer of other writers. I am fascinated by the craft and I thrill whenever I see it employed with skill and novelty. However, the energy this admiration stokes is most frequently directed towards - of course - more reading.

Please allow me a quick anecdote. I once had a friend who spoke four languages fluently. He explained to me that learning a new language is always a little bit heartbreaking because your other secondary languages necessarily suffer as you dedicate all of your focus to learning the new, unfamiliar one. But, there's a wonderful moment once you reach a certain level, he assured me, once things are clicking into place, you begin to regain the ability to return your focus to the other languages in your repertoire and sharpen them back up.

Accepting that my reading routine will suffer for a bit as I seek to improve my writing routine, is, I think, a necessary step in establishing a true writing habit.

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