I want to write something every day. I’ve tried this a couple of times before and haven’t been able to keep up with it for more than a few days at a time, after which I miss a day because I’m tired or not proud enough of what I wrote to publish it, then I feel bad about myself for not keeping my commitment, and I end up shelving the whole project due to the what-the-hell effect.

Trying hard clearly isn’t working, so I’m going to change my system. I’m going to build a writing tool for myself that encourages the habits I want to form, and tries to address the problems I’ve been having. Specifically, the problems I want to address are:

  1. I feel the need to “perfect” a post before publishing it, and if it isn’t “good enough”, if it doesn’t say something interesting enough or isn’t worded well enough, I don’t want to publish it, and
  2. I was writing in the evening, at which time I’m often tired and worn out.

As part of my routine during the week I catch Caltrain to work, so I’m going to designate my morning train ride as writing time. It’s 30 minutes long, which is definitely enough to write something, but a lot shorter than I’m comfortable with. For example, it’s not enough time to both learn something and write about it. It also has a very clear stopping point: getting off the train. That’s when I’m done writing.

In order to push myself to actually publish what I write in the mornings and not just let it sit in “drafts” forever making me feel guilty, the writing tool I make will auto-publish any post exactly 60 minutes after the first character was typed.

I also want the tool to help me remember to write every day, and to remember to write in the morning rather than the evening. So, at noon PST every day, if there was nothing posted in the previous 24 hours, the tool will auto-publish a post that simply says “no content”.

I commit to making this tool this weekend.

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