Sunday, April 18, 2021

Writing Habits - Eradicating or Replacing?

When I first read Ruth's invitation about habits, my first thought was, "Oh, I am not good at habits. How am I going to write about this topic?" 

On Friday, I took part in a Zoom session with other Indiana teachers who are part of a teacher leader group. Wouldn't you know it, the morning session was about making changes. We read an excerpt from The Power of Habit. 

I think the stars were aligning and telling me I needed to take a better look at this topic. 

I have tried many times to create good writing habits:  set aside a specific time, find a new notebook, write it in my calendar, and many others. But nothing ever seems to stick. Maybe it's because I go with the flow of life, taking one moment at a time and not planning out the moments. Maybe I lack the discipline to make myself sit down at a certain time. Maybe I am more of a rebel than I think and just refuse the boundaries. 

I know I become a better writer when I write more. But this question always lingers. How do I create a writing habit?

The author says that habits can't be eradicated, but they must be replaced. He explains that habits become most malleable when "the Golden Rule of habit change is applied:  If we keep the same cue and the same reward, a new routine can be inserted." 

Maybe this is the piece that I have been missing. Maybe it's not about creating a new habit, but replacing something I already do with what I need to do.

He further states that people must believe that change is possible and that change is more successful with the help of a group and grows within a "communal experience."

This has me thinking about my own life as a writer. What am I going to replace? Why do I scroll through social media instead of write? What routine can I change? Who is going to support me with this change?

I know the answer to some of these questions, and I know I have people in my life who support me; now, it is just a matter of taking action. That part is up to me.

Thank you, Ruth, for creating this space to share our stories, nurture those habits, and create a communal experience. See you next week! 

I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us. #sosmagic


  1. Oh, I love those three verbs you used in your concluding paragraph! share, nurture, and create. Like you, I need to work on that middle habit. Nurture the habit of writing. I'm tackling 100 days of writing this year and I gave myself permission to miss days, but still work on the habit. I'm on day 43/108. Still writing and trying not to let the perfectionist in me negate my efforts. I'm curious about how to use this rule of habit change when we're trying to establish a habit.

  2. Ohhhh!Sooooo good. "Maybe it's not about creating a new habit, but replacing something I already do with what I need to do." Thank you.

  3. I love the idea of replacing something I do with something I need to do, and keeping the same cue and reward. I need to think about how I can apply this!