Old Habits, Born Hard, Never Dead

Written by Ryan R. Campbell

Ryan R. Campbell is an International Book Awards finalist, the founder of the Writescast Network, and the co-founder of Kill Your Darlings Candle Company.

Posted on January 11, 2022

Filed under On Writing | Scambait

It’s been just over a week since I announced you’ll be getting a new book from me this year, and, perhaps more pressingly, that you’ll be getting it as I ease back into the swing of all things authorly.

Emphasis on ease.

New Places, New Phases, New Routines

There’s a lot of chatter at the start of every new year about writerly resolutions, about how to build and maintain momentum.

I’ve been through that process successfully before, which is something longtime listeners of the Writescast Network might remember: it used to be customary for me to rise at 5:15, get into a pot of coffee, and write until about 7 a.m. each morning.

Now, though?

In a new home in a new city with a new schedule, re-establishing that routine has proven challenging. I’m still up at the same time each day, but it’s been tough to get myself to the keys first thing in the morning. Then, even when I do make it to my desk at the crack of dawn, I find myself drawn to any number of distractions instead of my revisions for Scambait.

Better Than Poorly

That’s not to say progress isn’t being made.

On the contrary, I’m about halfway through a “final” (emphasis on quotes) pass at the Scambait manuscript before I start more dedicatedly seeking out a cover designer and early reviewers.

By the way, if you have a cover designer to recommend or would like to be an early reviewer for Scambait, let me know in the comments!

Even with those advancements, however, the process doesn’t feel quite right—but maybe “right” is the wrong framing.

On Not Making New Old Again

It feels only natural to judge oneself and one’s work against past progress and routines, but what I’m discovering is even that’s not fair (and let’s not get started on comparing oneself to others).

What worked during one stage of life may not work during others. Our routines should evolve as our lives do, should they not? So why not give oneself the permission structure to let that play out as it may?

Easier Said

Recognizing this, I should add, has not made feeling it any easier. I’m still very much of the mind that I’m not doing “enough” if I’m not going full bore each day while I simultaneously realize doing so is what led me to burnout in the first place.

There’s a disconnect, then, to say the least.

One and One Only

But, if you’ll permit me still yet another cliché, it’s one day at a time, and so long as I can feel good each day (in general, not just about writing), that’s a win—and who couldn’t do with more of those?

How do you kickstart new (or restart old) habits? Let me know in the comments!

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"Reminiscent of Hemingway and De Lillo. I highly recommend this collection."
-Award-Winning Author Ivy Ngeow


  1. Scott

    “Better than poorly” is my favorite kind of progress!

    • Ryan R. Campbell

      This begs the question of whether poorly made progress is really progress at all… ha!


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