Saturday, November 24, 2012

Habits Are Good

Get into the Habit

A good part of writing deals with habits. I recall "back in the day" when I worked for a newspaper and the news room was full of people who smoked. That was when people smoked everywhere, including the workplace, and if your co-worker didn't smoke and hated the stench, tough! Smoking was a writer's habit. You couldn't get cooking without lighting a cigarette, taking a drag, and then getting down to work. It was a habit. A bad one, but a productive one when it came to getting your work done!

Flash to today when smoking is not allowed in the workplace, but habits still persist. When I first started working full-time from home, I got down to business generally around 11 a.m., right when "The Young and the Restless" began on my trusty background noise TV. I usually stopped writing when the news came on, right after the Oprah show. I discovered that it became very difficult for me to write on weekends because the theme music to Y&R was not to be heard. That music made me want to write! Consequently, when the news came on, I wanted to quit writing, no matter if I had hit my daily quota of finished pages or not!

Ah, yes. Quotas. Another good habit. I set a daily quota of pages. When I reach the magic number (mine is 10) then I can quit for the day. If I hit that number at 2 p.m. I'm done. If I don't hit that number until 8 p.m., then it is a long, frustrating writing day, but I don't quit until I have written 10 pages. It's habit and that habit makes me produce writing every day.

Do you have habits? Of course, you do! What are your good ones that help you as a writer? Won't you share?


  1. Fortunately for me and my writing habits, we've had the same sofa for all 48 years of our married life (good solid Ethan Allen stock). I started writing fiction in the right hand corner of this sofa many years ago, and no matter where we moved, from Florida to Oklahoma, this sofa and my writing corner came with us. I started out with a notebook and pen and now use a laptop, but I'm still here in the corner doing my favorite thing. It just feels write...uh, right!

  2. What a great sofa! The stories it could tell.
    I started writing seriously at my dining room table and I don't have that particular table anymore. However, I often think of perhaps setting myself up at the dining room table again because I was very productive there. Laptops have made it possible for me to write all over the house, which is nice, but I tend to stick to one or two areas. My desk in my spare office and sometimes on the living room sofa.
    Those sofas are hard to beat!