Back to the routine

I did an experiment in September: I started a new blog and wrote a blog post every weekday. I used 30 minutes on writing each morning and published the post right then without much editing.

It was a success: I wrote every day and many of my writings I am proud of.

So I continued the experiment in October but decided to (a) improve the quality and (b) spend less time on it. So instead of putting half an hour on it every morning I would use 45 minutes three mornings a week. I would structure that 45 minutes so that the first 30 minutes was for writing a first draft and the rest for editing the piece. I also dedided to use some of the mornings to editing my September posts and re-publishing them on this blog or Leonidas blog.

It didn’t work.

Routines need to be easy to follow. Doing something every day is easy. Doing something every other day is harder. Going from 30 minutes to 45 minutes was psychologically hard. It felt like I didn’t need to do anything at first because I had 15 more minutes.

I was also vague to myself about what I actually wanted. Was this an experiment, a learning tool, or did I want to produce my best work? When goals are vague, one feels a pressure to reach all possible goals, but doesn’t feel the drive to reach any of them.

In short, I made my morning routine more difficult than I was ready to handle. I want to wake up, need what I need to do, and get out of the door. Trying to write a perfect blog post is not something to start a morning with.

So in November I am back to my original schedule: one post every weekday, written in 30 minutes. I make one change however: instead of posting on Antti Learns to Write, I will post here. The dichotomy in my head between quick posts and quality posts is unhealthy. Life is learning and this is me. My goal is to write every day, write as well as I can, and publish after 30 minutes. Real artists ship.

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