Don't Make a Habit a Crutch

Don't Make a Habit a Crutch

I collect writing books and software. Half of the physical books I own are about writing. Not to mention ebooks. There are hundreds there. I had a folder of bookmarks for writing tools and about a half dozen of those were specifically for prompting me to write daily.

A lot of these services are paid. There were more in the past, but they no longer exist. There really is not much of a market for these tools. Not everyone wants to torture themselves with the fact they procrastinate all the time. Writers already hate themselves enough.

But I managed to find one of those tools that was 100% free. I liked the interface and it would send an email to me in the morning to remind me. I knew the whole email thing wouldn’t be enough, so I found a Chrome plugin that would open a tab to the tool on a schedule, right in front of my face so I didn’t have a choice.

Fast forward a month. I am going strong. I have been writing daily for over a month. I wake up one morning and am staring at “502 Bad Gateway”. What? I was going to write a post about this tool and how it helped me to start a writing habit again. I had a streak going and the app broke the damn thing. Not me. There is no way to go back in time in it. If it gets fixed the next day, I start back over from scratch.

I was bummed. But not for long. I know where my sneaky self could take that. I saw myself quitting because of a tool and then I realized that it had already done it’s job and it was time to take off my training wheels.

There is a part of me that is a quitter and could have taken that as a chance to bail. But I remembered every morning now. I didn’t need the reminder. I just started writing. And I didn’t need the pat on the back from an inanimate application either. Plenty of people make it through life without accolades from their robotic overlords.

Stephan Miller

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Kansas City Software Engineer and Author

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