You see, my brother, is a coffee aficionado. He is extremely knowledgeable about the correct brewing technique and type of coffee beans that create that perfect aromatic and delicious cup of morning Joe. How did he get that way? Well, simply put, by drinking every type of coffee from the thick, spoon standing, bitter campfire mud to the robust, nutty tasting espressos, and then working to get the exact one that brought that "Ahhh . . ." feeling. Each day for months, he mixed different beans and tried different brewing techniques. It became a mini habit to get up in the morning, mix a new batch, and then brew it. The outcome? The perfect cup of coffee for his particular taste. Hearing what he went through didn't really click until I read "Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results" by Stephen Guise.
This book discusses how the mini habit of exercising changed this author's life, but it goes further. It demonstrates how small changes or habits can have a huge impact on whatever you are doing. For me, it's all about writing.
After the loss of my eldest daughter, Dawn, my writing habit fell by the wayside. Sure I wrote in long spurts, but the daily habit of writing disappeared. A writer friend encouraged me to read Guise's book, and like I said it clicked. I joined Kristi Holl's November Accountability Challenge. It required me to set a daily writing goal and to check in each and every day. It was the perfect opportunity for me to exercise those waning writing muscles. The first two weeks were hard. My brain brewed ideas, but my writing muscles struggled to get those ideas on paper. The third week was better. I was beginning to see a little elasticity, and by the fourth week my writing muscles were actually flexing. Oh, not to the point I was before, but it was a good start. Then the challenge was over, and I knew I was in trouble. I needed accountability to maintain those mini habits. What was I going to do? That's when I discovered I was not alone.
Several of the writers working on their own writing habits in Kristi's challenge felt the same way. We were all worried that without the accountability or a definite goal, our writing muscles would atrophy again. That's when someone asked, "Why?" Why did we have to stop supporting each other? Before I knew it, the group bonded together to form our own mini habit accountability support group. We each set a mini goal, and we check in daily. The writer in charge of the month supplies encouraging quotes, quips, advice, and even inspiring artwork. My min-habit is small--only three sentences a day. Some days writing those three sentences is challenging, but some days they lead into three pages or, like today, three hundred sentences. So what is the moral of my story--besides the fact that I should have listened closer to my brother? Simply put, daily min-habits can lead to amazing results. Try it, you may find that your writing is evolving into something wonderful.