From Sarah, With Joy

Writer querying two novels and some other word babies. I tend to effervesce.

New post every Monday

Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for Habits (and Hobbits)

Our lives are run by them, both good and bad. The habits, I mean, not Hobbits. (Although that could be potentially awesome...) Anyway, that means our writing often happens or doesn't depending on our habits. Or our habits can make writing easier or harder.

Sometimes we get into the bad habit of putting things in the way of our writing time, like coming home from work and watching TV or doing the dishes right before bed instead of writing. Or we get out of the habit of blogging or tweeting as often as we know we should.

There are good habits, too. Some are simply the opposite of the bad ones, like sticking to our writing time. Sometimes they're good luck rituals that help us get in the mood, like a habit of having a bowl of Waffle Crisp before you sit down at your writing desk. If it helps, then it's probably a good thing.

A stable schedule helps me get in good habits more than anything else. When my day is laid out in front of me all nice and planned, then I can just move forward through the day, writing and blogging and gyming like I know I should and things don't tend to get in the way. But when I meander and get lax, then bad habits start creeping in.

So if you find bad habits getting in the way of your productivity, set a schedule for yourself and commit to following it. Maybe you can have friends remind you, or put up reminder notes around your desk of why you're committed in the first place, have a power song in mind to pump you up when you're feeling the laziness coming and motivation lacking.

What other habits should we be wary of? Any tips or experiences overcoming them?

Oh, and as for the hobbits, here's the best one of them all:

 Happy Monday!

Sarah Allen

16 comments:

  1. My writing habits are shocking lol. All I need to do to be more productive it turn off the internet, but it calls to me! Really need to work on that!

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  2. This is really great advice. Thank you so much for sharing this. I think I need to set my writing time and stick to it. Thank you.

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  3. Schedule your writing time for the same time everyday. Commit to 800 words a day and you'll more than likely write a whole lot more.

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  4. I have a habit of writing really late at night. I get a lot done, so that's all right, but I'm not really sure if it's a *good* habit. :P Especially when writing horror stories (Horror was my H for today).

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  5. My bad habit is coming home from the gym in the morning and sitting down with a cup of tea before having a shower - it adds at least an hour before I potentially start writing. If I showered first, I'd be at the computer with my cuppa!

    I suppose the first step is admitting it!

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  6. Samwise Gamgee, no more loyal a friend a hobbit could have. And speaking of loyal, you can work towards having a Samwise kind of loyalty to your writing. Be there for it when the chips are down and things seem at their worst, perhaps that writer's block hit unexpectedly trying to steer you off the habit of writing on a daily basis. Like Samwise, give it the stick-to-it attitude.

    As for forming good habiits, having a specific time and a word count goal often helps.

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  7. This is so wise. I did this but now am having trouble sticking with my schedule and the routine I know works. Oy vay!
    Karen

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  8. My habits are so bad! Once I have a teeny piece of chocolate that's it, nom nom nom until the whole bar's gone and then I'm buying more the next day. Oh well, I suppose it could be worse! Frodo (in the book) is my favorite hobbit :-)

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  9. yeah, I totally have bad habits when it comes to writing. I used to write consistently when I took classes with Carol Lynch Williams mostly because she was scary and I didn't want to disappoint her. Since being out of college I've turned to writing groups as my motivations and scary deadline holders to make me write at least a little bit.

    For me it helps to have a goal of 250 words or 500 words to write and finish and not look at immediately. It's kinda like this new alphabet thing I'm trying with my blog as per your suggestion--I can blog when I have something to give me an idea but no real guidelines to smother my creativity. I guess I'm very goal oriented...

    http://tademings.com

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  10. Being ruled by hobbits is potentially awesome.

    I found having a schedule a must. Otherwise nothing gets done. Great post.

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  11. I have an awesome LOTR framed B&W poster hanging in the living room it has all sorts of hidden words wrapped in the artistry. I really treasure it.

    And if I could have one day that went according to schedule (even a day off) I would for sure be seeing the end of the world!

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  12. I drive myself crazy when I get in the groove of a schedule and then something distracts me and it all falls apart. Nice pic of Sam. I ADORE him. When he carries Frodo up Mt. Doom - forget about it - sob city.

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  13. He IS the best hobbit!

    It's so easy to lose a habit or pick up a bad one. I had great writing habits, got out of the schedule when school ended, and I never got that old set of habits back!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

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  14. I need to nurture some of my better habits more often ;)

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  15. I can't even think about schedules this month, but I have to do something about a proper routine when May comes around.

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