The Daily Habit of Writing 1 Sentence Each Dayby
I’ve come to realize that we are defined in large part by our little daily habits. I just watched a TED talk about a journalist who covered the memory tournament and decided to spend a minute a day improving his memory. He went on to become the national champion the next year.
Big results can come from lots of small actions that add up over time.
I was on the fence awhile before I started blogging wondering if it was but just a time sink. Work, life, family, where’s the time to write? Besides, having a website seemed a little daunting. And how often will you be able to sit down and write a completed article.
But I realized my writing skills were getting rusty, so I I thought that was enough of a reason to start working on them. Rather than think about publishing long articles, I just decided I would write at least 1 sentence each day. Just like the daily idea exercise, writing was just another small habit to make sure the muscle didn’t die. I’d write for the same reasons I work out and that’s reason enough.
I figured I could write 1 sentence every day no matter what. That doesn’t mean publishing every day, but just the act of jotting down at least a sentence in a journal or draft on a Trello board creates the habit. I’m not a big social media guy, but I did the silly Jan 1st post that I will resolve to do this everyday this year.
There’s a certain discipline about it that I like. Most days, as part of the morning routine, I spend the first 3-5 minutes of each day writing. That’s it. It’s the short amount of time you’d otherwise spend dazing at a Facebook post. It works out to 25-40 hours in a year. And you can write a lot in 40 hours.
That isn’t to say that on rainy Sunday mornings I might not write more. But committing to some action each day, even if its a scribble in a journal is the main goal.
It forces me to get my thoughts straight. It is also a practice in finding your voice. The writers I most admire write the same way they sound when they are speaking. It’s not easy to do. I notice that for most writers, something happens between the brain and the keyboard that changes the tone to something blah like eating Melba toast.
This whole experiment is teaching me that writing is like small daily interest payments. After a while the math starts to work for you.
Like most anything, lots of small efforts start to add up to a larger outcomes.