By Shannon McFarland
Little habits can change your life. I’ve been a writer for the last decade. Even then, there were a few years when writing was not a primary part of my daily job. When I did write, it was inconsistently and for my eyes only.
In the last year, I set a goal to start writing. Every single day. The kind of writing didn’t matter: fiction or nonfiction, rambling thoughts or deeply working through a chosen subject. I didn’t have anything in particular in mind. My intention was to just to develop the habit.
I’ve written on a daily deadline before, as well as completed a 50,000 word first draft of a work of fiction for Nanowrimo, so it’s really just a habit that needed resurrecting. Once you’ve developed a habit, it’s much easier to fall back into the routine.
In times of change
Having ingrained habits also helps me when I leave my regular circumstances. Some habits can travel with me! Which is wonderful, being able to maintain a habit in times of change. It’s also important if it’s a habit you want to keep because a break in your routine — travel, holidays, really any life event — can upend everything.
Like this weekend, when I’m away for a ski weekend in Maine. Although for today at least, “skiing” was the intention and not the reality. The lifts got shut down by severe wind and cold, as a result of Winter Storm Grayson. While the blizzard hit Boston hard, we’re lucky that it was just a lot of snow in our Somerville neighborhood. No flooding for us.
We shoveled ourselves out, packed up, and tried to hit the slopes. But it was not to be! We will try again tomorrow. The forecast says less wind and temperatures above zero at least. At the base of the mountain, the thermometers said 8 below zero F today and we can hear gusts of wind outside ramming against the lodge.
While I knew there would be days this month when I would have less time, and not write any brilliant strings of words, that is okay. My goal this month is to write and publish every day, even it’s a short little post.
In the meantime, we get a cozy day indoors, just relaxing with friends. Time for me to write. Also, time for hanging in the hot tub.
Published Jan. 6, 2018