on developing a new habit
and cashing in on literary hygiene
Thank you for your patience.
Thank you for showing up and reading. This letter writing habit is twenty months old. It took a while to take root. Now that it’s established, writing everyday seems more necessary to me than most personal hygiene rituals.
This may not be true for the people whom I share the house with.
They seem to like it when I don’t wash. They’re much more interested in sniffing every part of me when my hygiene has been dubious.
I can become more ripe than a green grocer with broke refrigeration.
Dogs don’t just follow me home. They fight over who gets to sniff me the longest.1
Though generally clean I can be inconsistent when it comes to taking a shower.
Bathing, brushing teeth, other hygiene measures, our brain mostly automates. We do certain things at certain times, on most days. They are habits. Habits help keep us clean.
My writing habit here can be similar. My grammar and spelling is at times, a bit messy.
In this foolsletter, I’ve been messy, on purpose as an example of the minimum viable writing practice. You don’t have to do a lot to have a newsletter. Just start. That’s enough. If you do it everyday, it grows!
In doing so, over the course of about twenty months, I’ve developed my writing and publishing habit to the point that I have no intention of stopping. Not brushing my teeth would feel more comfortable than not shipping a newsletter.
But now what?
Now, I’m going to focus my attention on refining my work.
You’ve been with me through some decent writing. You’ve hung in through some posts so obtuse, they barely make sense. Over time though, my writing has changed and grown.
I love the kind of imperceptible change that comes with practice.
I also love the kind of change that comes with intention and attention.
Now, I intend to build a new habit.
For the next few weeks, I am going to read every foolsletter aloud to myself before sending it. I did that for this one. I’ve done that for the one you read yesterday. They were imperfect. And, they sounded better to me. I caught some messy bits. I’m not proofreading. I’m reading aloud, then tidying up.
Please don’t tell me that proofreading and ‘tidying up’ are the same things. I refuse to proofread. I’m happy to tidy up.
So after twenty months of publishing, reading aloud is my new habit.
After doing this for a few weeks, I’m going to read them aloud twice. The first time will be to familiarize myself with how the words fall from my mouth. The second reading, I’ll record and release here. That will be a paid feature.
Too busy to read? Audiobook fan? Want to hear my actual voice reading this thing? If you’ve answered yes and want to buy me a cup of coffee once a month,2 this service will be for you.
This will allow me to spend even more time with the foolsletter. You then get better writing with even fewer errors. The manscape of literary hygiene improves for us all.
I’ll let you know about that feature once its set up. As for this part? The old fashioned read it yourself part? This will continue to arrive just as it always has with no restrictions.
Our habits create our future. Writing was a big habit. Reading aloud is the next one.
After that, I may even attempt to stop biting my nails.
Do you have any habits you’d like to acquire?
Do you have any habits that you’d like to leave behind?
What problem does that habit solve for you? How does it work?
What might work better?
When they lift their legs, I kick.
the kind of coffee that you have when you have people from out of town and you’re showing off how great your life is but you would need to live in a box and ride a bike because all of your money would be going to coffee.