“the butter melts out of habit”

There’s a pervasive belief floating around life, the internet, and my dentist’s office that it takes 21 days to form a habit. According to this wet blanket Forbes article, this 21 day idea is a myth, which makes sense. I mean, I want to make running a habit, but I cannot run for 21 days in a row. My body would not survive it. Some habits aren’t everyday habits, but writing is. Or I wish it were.

If we are to follow the Forbes map of how habits get formed, I am firmly in the second phase with writing. I had a long honeymoon period, but I lost the magic somewhere. We’re still deeply in love, but I’ve been letting other things distract me from writing. If the 21 day thing is rooted in any kind of accuracy, then I’m in luck because this week, I am deploying a mission to write every day for 21 days in a row. I’m starting today┬ábecause I began to form this plan back at the beginning of March when I was unnaturally excited about the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Now I am less enthusiastic about the tourney and more than in need of something to look forward to.

My plan is to sit down for one hour every day, set the timer, and write until the timer goes off. I have a couple in-progress projects that I’ll be working on, but if I’m not feeling any of those on a particular day, I’ll just write whatever. I don’t have a specific goal in mind. I’m not looking to write a certain number of words or finish anything. I’m only looking to create a habit. At the beginning of the year, I read a couple of writing memoirs (this is one of my favorite genres of non-fiction) and the biggest takeaway from both of them was the butt in chair mentality of a daily writing habit. Of course, successful writers have talent, but they also have to put their butts in their chairs in order to make the most of that talent.

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I’m announcing my plan here to give myself an accountability that lately I can’t create for myself. Even though declaring my intentions on my blog doesn’t set up any consequences for not following through with those intentions, it gives me a reminder that I made myself this promise.

I also want to run more, but that’s a habit for another time.