September 1, 2017 by Valerie Ullmer
Bad Habits When I Write…or When I Want To #MFRWAuthors
For the #MFRWAuthor 52-Week Blog hop, this week, week 35, we are talking my bad habits 🙁
My biggest two, and I’ll be the first to admit that they are horrible habits, are laziness and procrastination. There are days when I am motivated. I will write several thousand words or outline several scenes, all in one afternoon. And because I consider that a good start, I will continue this throughout the week. But my first downfall is something very simple that can be seen as laziness.
It’s not TV, or Facebook, or other distractions. It is reading. I love (really love) reading. Anything that I find interesting, I will pick it up and become completely lost in the story. I forget to feed myself, ignore my husband (which I make an effort not to), and will read through the time where I know I have a deadline, but I can’t stop. I go through books and fanfiction like it’s water pouring down the drain. Well, at least during the times I don’t have a reading slump. I try and justify it as an occupational necessity, and it really is because of the inspiration I get from reading other author’s works and it jars ideas left and right, but it is an addiction.
And I say that reading is laziness because I don’t have to think of ideas and I don’t have to create. Even though I fall in love with the stories I write, it doesn’t always start that way. Sometimes my ideas of where my characters should end up get vetoed by the characters themselves. For instance, in my latest book, Xander, the first iteration of his mate was a curvy librarian who was targeted by a bear shifter because he wanted her. The problem became that I was lost the ability to invent strong conflict that I could develop throughout the story. The bear shifter would have to be killed sometime int he first two chapters and his friends would catch wind of his death and come after them, but the story went nowhere. I let it sit and sit before I came up with the idea that is Xander now. And during that time, I kept reading.
My other bad habit is procrastination. When I think of a story, I’m excited because the idea is new and I’m creating the story from scratch. There is no research in the outline stage and no real distractions other than getting the story down. But my problem is when the outline is finished and the story is fleshed out, I tend to drag my feet when filling out the character worksheet (although it’s the most helpful tool I can have when I write) before I type my outline in Scrivener and start writing my book. I have no idea why. When I start writing and I see how the story is fleshed out, I get really excited as the words appear and the story develops, but for some reason, I do procrastinate. A lot.
And to combat both procrastination and laziness, I do what might seem counterproductive, but it gets me going again. I pile on more work. I recently decided that I’m going to create book covers on top of writing. And not only that, I’ve started a short story that will hopefully be included in the Mischief Corner Books Christmas Collection, I’m outlining a Christmas novella that is included in my Unexpected series, and I’m in the beginning stages of a new Dark Assassins book. All this because the month of August has not been very productive. I’ve read several books that allowed me to complete my Goodread’s 2017 reading challenge, but now it’s time to get back to work!
I hope that everyone is combatting their bad habits and please, keep writing!