Despicable me #mfrwauthor

I’m escaping the Arizona heat this week in wonderfully cool Toronto, visiting a couple of my sons and a BIG dog that is making it hard to type by 1/3 sitting on me. One third of Sadie is all that fits on my lap.

Nonetheless I found time for the Marketing for Romance Writers blog hop. For week 35, the writing prompt is:

My Bad Habits

Several flippant responses leap to mind:

  • I have none. I’m perfect — just ask my dog.
  • What is this, a job interview?
  • Good grief, where do I even start!
  • How much time do you have?

But this is a blog about writing, so I’ll narrow my focus.

My #1 bad habit related to writing is a lack of willpower. When I face a tight deadline, as I recently did, I can work 10 hours a day for a week-and-a-half straight.

But when I’m not facing a deadline . . . oh my gosh. On those days, I’m in the habit of finding the Internet so darned interesting, you know? And let me check what’s on Netflix, just for a moment, okay? Or sleep — I’m addicted to that habit.

Poor me.

My #2 bad habit relating to writing is that I never get it right the first time.  I would love to be one of these people who tosses off 5K to 7K brilliant words every day and publishes 10 books a year. In fact, that ability is what I’m going to ask Santa to put in my stocking.

But I haven’t yet been able to train myself to get the words right the first time.

Poor, poor me.

My #2 bad habit relating to writing is perfectionism. This is, of course, a corollary to #2. A first draft is just a draft, a starting point. I’m so desperate to make every story and every sentence better that I torture myself and writing takes way longer than it should. Sometimes this habit freezes me completely.

Poor, poor, poor me. Don’t you feel sorry for me?

What about you?

Yes, I’m deep into a Pity Party — but you folks can make me feel better. Simply tell me the worst thing about you, the very worst and I promise you, I’ll perk right up.

Share the horrors in a comment, and then check out the faults of the otherwise admirable writers taking part in this blog hop.

And finally, my science fiction short story collection, Future Love, is one-percent of these hundred books on sale for a short time only.  Click the picture below and look under Space Opera.



  1. Sherry Lewis · · Reply

    This ought to perk you up–I don’t consider any of the things on your list “bad: habits. But, then, maybe that’s because I’m exactly the same way, so I prefer to think of my inability to write something I’d be willing to show anybody else in draft stage as an “exceptional quality,” and my perfectionism as “admirable.” 🙂

    1. I guess I can see how you might consider my lack of willpower a fault but not a habit, yet when I develop the habit of checking out the baseball scores and the news, there’s definitely an element o habit to it. As for perfectionism . . . I see where you’re coming from — but there’s a fine line between trying to write the best darned novel I can and being unable to proceed because something isn’t perfect.

  2. I was knocked back to Reality two years ago, when I thought I could home-school my youngest, write 3 full-length books, help out my mom each month, and stay a week with my stepdaughter….all in the same year. Only wrote 2 books; child literally had NO vacation days, since he did no work while I was gone (Hubby dropped the ball on that one); AND I realized my mom was really only shuffling the clutter stacks around. Thankfully now she’s finally getting rid of it!

    1. I hear you! Real life has a way of making like a pigeon and pooping all over our plans. That said, it sure seems like a heck of a lot done in one year!

  3. Cathy Brockman · · Reply

    I spend more time staring at blank pages than writing, I’d love that superpower of writing the perfect words and popping out 10 perfect books a year will you share if Santa brings it

    1. The only thing I promise is to let you know if Santa comes through.

  4. Nice to visit sons and dog while you whine about how this or that isn’t good enough. To me, you are the tops. So hush up and have some fun on this glorious weekend.

    1. I’ve already had some fun and plan to have more. Lots of walking, too. In my usually life, I don’t walk nearly enough.

  5. I’m all about wishing my words would flow and needed no correction. I’m in a writing group and some of these authors can publish a book a month. I have no clue how they do it, because I can always tweak one more sentence, you know? I hope Santa brings you this ability! Enjoy Toronto!

    1. I can’t imagine how a book published every month can be any good, because I know if I tried it the results would be garbage. I once wrote a 40K novella in three weeks — that was me writing in a white heat — but then I spent the next month getting it ready to send to the publisher.

  6. Ed, your “bad” writing habits sound strangely like mine. 😀 And I don’t know anyone who gets all the words right the first time, and if they think they do, they are probably delusional!

    Enjoy cool Toronto with your family and Sadie.

    1. But can’t one hope to get the words right more often, at least?

  7. I write horrible, ugly first drafts and then polish them like crazy before they go to the editor. I can’t imagine how people can write a whole book–or anything!–in one draft.

    1. I totally agree, Alina. Yet some people do, and other people buy their books. I don’t get it.

  8. We share all 3 habits. #1 is more than just writing, it’s also in relation to my quest for the last 3 or so years to lose about 20lbs that I’ve not managed to get rid of. Why because it’s much easier to NOT work out. LOL

    #2 and #3 I can’t get it in my head that a first draft can be ‘crappy’ and you fix it later. I don’t work that way.

    1. I’ve noticed in these blog posts that I share many traits with other writers.

      Re: #1, in my old age I fight the pounds I never had to in my salad days, but getting a head start helps, like when I got really ill last fall and lost 15 pounds. Keeping them off has been easier than if I’d had to lose them on my own.l

  9. I’the same way with deadlines. If I don’t have one, then I act as if I have all the time in the world.

    1. I guess this is a good reminder of the importance of deadlines in our stories, as well. A ticking clock truly does up the tension.

  10. First drafts? I’m like you and prefer to edit as I go. Doing NaNoWriMo for six years killed me, but I broke their rule and edited as I wrote. I want what you want in my stocking for Christmas! Enjoy Toronto with your family.

    1. Doing NaNo opened my eyes about how much I’m capable of writing . . . but like you, I prefer to edit as I write.

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