Reboot – Writing

shiny penny

PROMPT. What do you do each day
that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and
can you eliminate it? *



Somewhat similar to year 2010 – SHINY PENNY – just somewhat differently defined this time around. In short, distractions, poor daily planning, and lack of accountability have contributed to my not writing.

This post is part of Reverb – 2014 Reboot.

Shiny Penny

You know when you are talking with friends while walking down the street and then mid-conversation you get shiny, shiny? Maybe you see a penny, see a reflection, hear a sound, smell something odd, or something feel something that physically moved you and caught your senses – some sort of external stimuli? Then you forget where you were in conversation? Shiny penny – DISTRACTION.


With regards to writing, when I am already writing – [Paper + Pen] or [Fingertips + Keys] – if I hear an interesting noise, I simply get side-tracked.

As far as poor daily planning and lack of accountability, with all good intentions of writing, there are times I have been more wrapped up in doing non-writing to do list activities, and therefore, writing would take second chair to other non-writing activities.

Managing Shiny Penny

I discovered back in 2010, shiny penny can bring opportunities for writing inspiration and for a bit of down-time to recharge. It has been fun to see what results from shiny penny that I can attribute and contribute to my writing.

Yes, I can eliminate shiny penny. The easy part about figuring out how not to be distracted when I am writing – earbuds or headphones. The slightly more involved part of figuring out better daily planning and accountability has been establishing habits.

Behavior Design with Tiny Habits®

reboot_writingTo overcome my poor daily planning and accountability issues, I use BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits® to develop better habits and behaviors. You can see information about Tiny Habits on BJ’s Slideshare. (Because of seeing results for myself, particularly with wellness practices, I also am a Tiny Habits® Certified Coach.)

For better daily planning, I shared how 18-minutes is part of starting my day. What do I do? I include writing somewhere in my top (above the line) boxes. I am more aware of whether I have side-stepped my writing when I am checking-in/refocusing each hour. You can see in my gridline journal – my first box is about a blog post (for anthrocubeology) – CHECK! By the way, I may have from 3-5 items above the line. Today is a good day for lots of activities.

(SIDE NOTE: On behavior design, I learned for myself that “painful” behavior change does not work for me; it may work for others and perhaps in other contexts. I shared my experience in my first post – First – Better Behaving Anthrocubeologist – and you are welcome, Stanford student.)

My accountability is built into my 3-3- … buddy system, which can be either somewhat formal (like a meeting structure) or less formal, such as a quick message or phone call with each other. I look forward to sharing how my writing is coming along (or not) with someone who is supportive.

How about you?

How do you answer this prompt?

What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing (or other chosen craft)? And how are you eliminating that?


*prompt from Reverb10, Author Leo Babauta

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