Birthday Cake, and a Daily Writing Habit

I’m afraid a quick post today is all that I can manage. I’ve slept in late (9:44 the time reads now), and at 11:30 I’ll head on down to campus for the Sunday study hall I lead, three meetings with students scheduled up, and a set of tests haranguing me for grades.

It’s also my birthday today, my thirty-first, and some measure of childhood giddiness has yet found its way to me. Right now on the counter, a chunk of butter, creme fraiche, and some milk are warming up. Before departing for campus, we’ll be baking a pistachio cake to celebrate this evening.

This corner of warm sun erupted yesterday, luring me out from the sofa for a little basking and a little photography.

Inspired significantly by Tim Storm’s great post last week “How Your Attitude and Approach Toward Habits Can Revitalize Your Writing Practice,” I renewed my intention to focus in on writing despite the busy rush of school. Storm cites some great advice about forming productive habits, identifying the importance of consistent dedication to a task over a one-off attempt at masterpiece. The idea that developing a productive system rather than setting a goal will get us there–I found this perspective illuminating and inspiring.

And so I started Thursday, at least one hour of writing per day, a set intention, and three days in so far so good. I’m working on revising one more short story from the summer. I’ve applied four hours to the task since then, and I am feeling productive and engaged. The story, which I remembered as simplistic, dull, and didactically obtuse, well, I think there’s something there. Here’s to a fresh perspective.

It’s time to bake the cake. My husband, as I’ve been typing this, has been studiously examining the recipe. He has calculated the precise reduction in salt needed when substituting 170 grams of salted butter for unsalted. Now let the mixing commence.

My best to you in this week ahead,
Jimmy, age 31

Rainy January

One thought on “Birthday Cake, and a Daily Writing Habit

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  1. Happy birthday! Your cake sounds divine, and your new habit productive. I’ve been trying something of the same thing, and it’s truly nourishing. Just giving myself the gift of writing time rather than setting myself the task of FINISHING THIS THING makes a pleasure out of a chore, and frees creativity from the cage of iron goals.


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