I was a very superstitious baseball player. Every time I stepped into the batter’s box I would tap both my left and right cleat three times, touch each of the five points of home plate, and then practice my swing twice. I was also arguably the worst hitter on my team^1. So, depending on your outlook, either my superstition didn’t work that well or it was the only thing keeping me from striking out every at bat. When it comes to writing, however, I don’t consider myself to be overly ritualistic. I have some habits, sure, but nothing that would qualify as a ritual, at least in my eyes. I don’t tap my left and right shoes three times, touch each of the corners of my computer, and pretend to type for two minutes before I can work. With that being said, I think that a habit that I would like to get into is the ability to actually use feedback to improve my papers.
I’m very protective over my work. George Orwell once said that writing is the ultimate form of ego fulfillment, which works really well for me because when it comes to writing I have an ego that could fill St. Peter’s Basilica. I tend to instinctively reject suggestions for improvement without really considering whether or not it would actually improve my writing. A routine I would like to start is taking each suggestion, closing my eyes for a second to fully consider it, and then deciding whether or not to implement it rather than rejecting it out of pure ego. I think this would allow me to improve my work as well as give people a little bit more freedom to critique my work.
^1 Arguably here means the same as it does in the sentence “Sam is arguably correct when he asserts that the Sun will rise in the East tomorrow.” I was an abomination at the plate.