Writer’s Diary #3: Linking Habits

This morning, I wrote for 5 minutes while the coffee was brewing, and another 5 minutes while I drank it. I got an early start, and wrote at the typewriter. Inspired by James Clear’s Atomic Habits idea of linking a habit (coffee) with something you want to do (write this Writer’s Diary), I wrote this. The idea, which stuck in my mind when I read Clear’s book years ago, is of making things one wants to do stickier, and more likely to be done, by linking them to established habits.

The first thing I do every morning is drink a cup of coffee. Could coffee be used to create a habit of writing a journal, planning the day, posting an article, going for a run, and working on a book? It seemed ambitious, but this morning, it felt promising.

This approach to writing this diary raised a question: If I want to write more regularly, in this diary, is it better to work by hand, or to type, or to dictate? While there is no one way to write, I’ve found the methods are different. For me, writing by hand is slower, more fluid. Writing on a computer is faster, but I think and edit more as I go. Voice dictation, which I sometimes use while walking, is a good way to get an idea down, but it’s not so good to develop an idea. Each medium of writing is different, but whether I’m typing, handwriting, or dictating, I think linking to a coffee habit is promising.

This morning, I typed.

This evening, I revised.