Good Habits and Bad

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Happy New Year everyone! The year and the new decade begin, like each one before it, on a note of hope.

Over the last year, I starting doing some daily tasks that developed into habits. It struck me recently that these were pretty good habits that would benefit everyone so I thought I would share.

  1. Reading one Blinkist ‘book’ everyday

I downloaded the Blinkist app and signed up for it ages ago but never read much. (Blinkist offers 15-minute summaries of the best nonfiction books out there.) Things changed when I put a reminder on my phone, and now I read the daily pick every day on the way to office. I’m a fast reader so most days I’m done before I even reach my desk.

  1. Writing to a target

I had read several articles on writing websites that advised to find a low target word count, like even 100-200 words and aim for that on a daily basis. I found this an excellent idea, and chose 200 words as my target. Ahem, I didn’t achieve that for the year, but I came pretty close. And that’s 60k words more than I expected to write for the year.

  1. Tracking word count for every writing session

Earlier I never used to track this. But in 2019 I started doing it initially just for fun, but later realized it’s a fabulous way to motivate oneself and also hit the targets one is aiming for. Many writing websites suggest tracking the start and end time as well as the location, which might help the writer check the most productive spot and time for writing. However I have almost the same place and time so I decided not to track this, but it might be useful information for other writers.

  1. Establishing a blogging schedule

In years past, every time I sat down to write something for the blog I’d start from scratch. I’d scout topics, research and then write. This used to suck up a lot of time and effort and leave me frustrated. Then I got the idea of creating a schedule, using the posts I usually write and want to write. I planned it and began batching the posts I wanted to publish. This has helped me write a weekly post for the last 6 months running, except for one occasion when I had fallen sick.

  1. Social media

I pretty much suck at social media in general, and Twitter in particular. But I have really warmed to Instagram thanks to my newfound love for PicsArt. However, without reminders I would never do that either.

But there has to be balance in this world. Here’s a list of the bad habits I have that I am trying to break and you should too if you want to progress on your goals.

  1. Opening up Submittable and obsessing over the state of my submissions
  2. Falling into despondency when I get a rejection
  3. Feeling blue days have passed without a response to any of my stories
  4. Reluctance to submit or write any more until I get an acceptance
  5. Getting sucked into the vortex of social media

I don’t like to dwell too much on the negative side, so lets leave that short list as it is!

Next week onwards, to celebrate the onset of the new year and decade, I thought I’d do a ‘Best of…’ series of topics close to my heart.

Meanwhile, if you would like to share some good habits that you follow, or even any bad ones you’re trying to shed, let me know in the comments below!

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