“You’re sort of a writer,” a friend of mine said to me in November, 2019.
She meant it kindly, but that stung a little. I’d always wanted to be a writer. But up to that point, I had made writing a thing I did some days. When I had time. When I felt like it.
That’s not what writers do. They practice writing. They create every day, even when they don’t have time. Because they know it’s a lie to say you don’t have time. After all, we all have exactly the same amount of time, to the extent that even Bernie Sanders would like how it’s allocated. And they know that if you wait to practice until you want to, you’re going to be waiting a long time.
My friend’s side comment on the way into a restaurant led to a resolution. I decided to start a streak, to write every single day except Sundays. From that day on, I did so for nine months. Holidays, Saturdays, ski days, quarantine days. Every day.
You probably know that streaks are super motivating. Once you have one going, you don’t want to quit, to ruin it.
The first step toward perfecting the science of practice is to start a streak. Pick a practice that will help you become more who you were created to be. Do it every day. Pretty soon, you’ll become the kind of person who does that practice naturally, maybe even without thinking too much.
PS That writing streak? It became so much of a habit that I don’t have to track it as carefully any more. I’m not someone who is keeping a writing streak. I’m a writer.