Writing Down My Commitment To A Writing For-The-Public Habit

Update 10/31/22 –

I was really into the idea of creating habits when I wrote this post; yes, like many others, I read James Clear’s productivity book, Atomic Habits, and suddenly everything became about habits. I only got to doing this habit seven times. That’s fine. It was a failure. It’s not too late to resume it, and maybe I will try for the last four weeks. Maybe. For future note, I think there is a key ingredient missing from this writing commitment: accountability to other people.

Despite my announcement of evolving this site a digital garden and recently learning that publicly committing to a goal doesn’t necessarily increase your chance of completing it [1], I must admit that the thrill of sharing something in real-time motivates me to write, and that’s super valuable.

My intent is to steal the idea of James Clear’s 3-2-1 email newsletter and put my own spin on it. Each Thursday, he shares an email with 3 of his ideas, 2 quotes from other people, and 1 question. It’s easy to read and, I imagine, not too tasking to put together each week.

Here’s my spin on it, or, my Written Commitment To A Writing For-The-Public Habit:

  • I will write on my blog instead of an email newsletter (I’ve “revived” my email newsletter at least three times too many at this point).
  • If it fits with the content, I will share the post as a Twitter thread, but I won’t labor over getting the content to fit into thread form.
  • I will have a trial period from August 12 through October 7, 2022, where every Friday I will try out a different adaptation of 3-2-1 e.g. one week I could do 3 things I read, 2 projects I am working on, and 1 way of describing my research direction; another week I might do 1 photo, 2 small wins, and 6 link shares. I can change these based on the capacity I have each week.
  • On October 7, I will check in on how the formats are going, and I will pick a consistent approach to stick with until November 25.
  • On November 25, I’ll assess if the format is feeling good, then I’ll share one more post and take a break until January 13, then start it up again.

The goal of this commitment is to stay in touch with writing for a general audience as I embark on my journey into research (need to write about that, too). I’ve learned that my blog and that people read it, something I tend to take for granted, is actually a valuable asset to my future career in research. So, I want to plan out how I’m going to keep doing this as I become more entrenched in academia.

  1. I learned this when I was initially going to blast this post everywhere, then looked for a source that said “publicly sharing goals helps you achieve them” but I found this article which refers to this research that indicates the opposite. Without reading into the details too much, it could be the case, that publicly committing to your goal provides a feeling of completion before you actually do anything towards the goal. Would I feel like I’ve completed my 1-2-3 post for today by publicly sharing this post? Quite possibly.