We can use the Habit Loop for a deeper look at what’s making it sticky––and then we can rewire the behavior. The easiest piece to identify is the routine. For me, that was an addiction to a tuna melt and tomato soup from the deli across from my office. 🥪🤤 The hard part is finding the reward in your Habit Loop, but it’s critical in diagnosing the motivation behind the habit. To find the reward that’s triggering your craving, get experimental. Put on your lab coat and safety goggles because we’re diving into the scientific method!Read More
It’s 12:15 p.m on a rainy November afternoon in Portland, Oregon. I’m wrapping up projects for the morning, replying to emails, and closing out tabs on Chrome. My coworkers are shuffling their things together, too––ready to head to the break room for lunch.
But not me. There’s a pull. A drive. An overwhelming craving taking over my body. A craving for a hot, cheesy tuna melt with fries and a cup of tomato soup to be exact.
The Tuna Melt Mambo of 2015, my friends, is what we all call a bad habit. So how do we rewire a bad habit? The answer lies in the anatomy of habit.Read More
This week, I’m in the middle of a big move from San Diego to LA. Instead of setting an unreasonable expectation to write everyday AND have a successful move, I’m sharing a video instead.
As anyone who’s ever moved knows, it’s incredibly stressful! It’s kind of like putting your life into a Yahtzee cup, shakin’ it up, and splattering it out two hours away. In the midst of the craziness, I reflected on the BIGGEST lie we tell ourselves as writers.
This BIG FAT LIE so often prevents me from doing my soul’s work, and it’s only recently that I’ve been able to bust it wide open with five ice cold truth bombs. 👇 Here’s what I’ve learned 👇Read More
Energy vampires are activities and people that suck the life outta you. They drain your energy. Instead of feeding on your blood, energy vampires live on a diet of glucose. Glucose is fuel the brain and body uses for energy. It’s our gasoline. Decision-making, good and bad stress, deep focus, and other mentally or emotionally taxing activities deplete the brain’s fuel.Read More
Quick, healthy, and yummy meals are excuse busters when I whine about… “But I can’t write! I have to cook dinner!” Or, “I need take out so I can finish this essay.” This vegetarian chili recipe takes 30 minutes to make and covers my lunch or dinner for a week. And it’s FALL! 🍁😍🍂 It’s cool enough to steam up your kitchen with a hearty one-pot recipe.Read More
I love a good plan. I love checklists, maps, itineraries, and tables of contents. Why? Because I want to know what I’m getting into. I want to be prepared.
Because I hate uncertainty.
Uncertainty by nature involves risk and potential for pain and suffering. This makes me very scared. Uncertainty makes me want to crawl into my solid bed, under my real covers, and remain in the present moment in the fetal position. This helps for a few minutes, but if I stay there, I don’t move forward.Read More
Have you ever returned from a magical and expansive vacation only to feel too foggy to get back to your writing routine? That’s me. 🙋🏻 Every time. It’s a challenge to re-awaken the willpower and discipline muscles after a few weeks off. Here are some tried-and-true strategies I’ve used to bounce back into writing after a break:Read More
The LitHabits Blog is taking a break for the next three weeks! I’m heading out to sea with my family on a cruise to Alaska. 🚢Still, I’m not going to leave you hangin’! There are some new faces around the LitHabits Blog these days, so I’m going to share five of our best-liked articles from the last few months.Read More
Recently, I had to reframe my ideas around humility. To me, humility was connected to the “fallen” trope we’re told as Christians in both Catholic and Evangelical circles. We are broken. We come into the world broken, marked by original sin. We have fallen. We are inherently disposed toward evil. We need fixing. Jesus needs to fix us. I no longer believe this idea defines the true meaning of humility.Read More
Recently, I watched an interview with Roxane Gay where she was asked if she’s experienced writer’s block. She responded, “Yes, I’ve been having writer’s block for two years now. I can write through it, but it’s shitty writing. It’s hard.” This incredible writer, who has inspired millions, writes through writer's block, and has produced a lot in the last two years, including her best selling memoir, Hunger.Read More
A dedicated coffee queen for years, I eventually admitted it was a trigger for my anxiety. Thankfully, I’ve found a delicious tea and coffee substitute that not only satisfies the rich beverage fix we writers crave, but also lifts the mood, reduces inflammation, and may improve memory and cognition, among other perks in a long list of health benefits: Brain Fog Bustin’ Golden Milk!Read More
One reason it’s hard to get “butts in the chair” and “just write” is because, unless we have a solid routine in place, we must choose to write. Decision making eats up precious glucose in the brain. Each decision you make throughout the day is a deposit from your willpower bank account. Habits remove decision making from the equation.Read More
Why does a writing routine work? From Anne Lamott to Flannery O’Connor to Toni Morrison, why do writers swear by the power of routine to quiet the inner critic? Because… brain science! Writing––like all the other arts and skills––is a practice. When we develop and maintain a writing routine, our brains change. We don’t have to make the decision––it’s automatic.Read More
Every other piece of writing advice seems to be a version of, “Write every day!” I’m not sure new writers really “get this” until we actually write every day at the same time. It’s easier to wait for inspiration to hit. But experienced writers know: if you want to get work done, waiting for the waterfall is a precarious existence.Read More
At this stage in my writing life, I’m a dedicated early bird. It was helpful to read the writing routines of other early birds – I enjoyed their quirks and tips, and offered me a sense of solidarity in my routine. When I wake up in the dark, brew a cup of hot tea, and rub my eyes with weariness, I know many greats have come before me. So, if you’re also a lark who rises with the sun to get to work, you’re in good company. Here are seven celebrated authors with early bird writing routines.Read More
A few weeks ago, I fell down my sister’s stairs and sprained my ankle. I usually walk my dog to the beach for an hour, but for the last month, I’ve shortened my walks to 15 minutes.
This was a blow. My morning walks are an essential piece of my wellness routine. Fortunately, my apartment complex has a pool. At first, I thought, Great! I’ll replace my long walk with a morning swim. My love for water runs deep, so this was an attractive option.Read More