I think as writers we all have bad habits we are fighting to combat. I know I have quite a few bad habits up my sleeve, ones that I need to work on dissolving out of my life and into obscurity. Be gone! *waves wand*. Here’s just a few bad habits of mine as a writer.
The biggest demon of mine. The main antagonist of my bad habits. Procrastination. I live for the day I can sit down at my laptop and just get down to work. No distractions, no killing for time. Just me, my laptop, Microsoft Word and my fingers ready to type away. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? I remember a period of time where I actually did this but I couldn’t tell you where this period of time went. Probably on a round world trip somewhere, having the time of its life while I continue to procrastinate away.
There are quite a few ways in which I waste time. Let me give you a little insight into the ways in which I procrastinate before I get down to the task of writing.
- Looking through social media. Facebook, Twitter, Gmail…these are the main sites I click on. Anything going on in the world of Facebook? Not much. How about Twitter? Ooh, there’s an interesting trend, wonder what that’s about? Alright I’m done here. What about gmail, anything new? Nope, not really. Alright, time to check Facebook again (even though I just checked 10 minutes ago). It’s a vicious cycle.
- Playing music to psyche me up before writing. I tend to steer more towards R&B, since that’s my favourite genre of music. I have to spend time dancing in front of the mirror. Let’s not forget the singing. Probably bad singing, but still. It’s part of my pre work out routine! You know, to prepare the brain for…writing. Yes, makes…complete…sense.
- Daydreaming. Along with listening to music, this is probably the biggest issue for me. At least an hour of my time in the morning is dedicated to dreaming up scenarios in my head, reliving moments of the past, fantasising about things that will never happen. Seriously brain, stop wasting my time!
- Getting myself an energy drink. I can’t write without a caffeinated boost. How am I supposed to get the creative juices running? (This is just an excuse, another excuse for me to procrastinate).
- Listening to music to get me into the right mindset for writing. I’m not talking about R&B music here. I’m talking video game music, my go to for writing sessions. Listening to this type of music will release the blockage from my mind, allowing my characters to come alive right before my eyes! (Just another excuse to procrastinate, though half true).
The annoying thing about procrastination is that it doesn’t end once I start writing. Distractions creep all around, just waiting to pounce on me the minute I let my guard down. The internet, lonely and begging for my attention calls out to me. Please, just give me a little of your time. It won’t take long. Alright, fine, but after, I’m going back to writing.
Oh, a friend I haven’t heard from in a while just sent me a message on Facebook messenger. I guess I’ll reply, it will only take me a second, then I’ll get back to writing. Now she’s calling me. I guess I’ll take this call. No harm in having a little catch up. After we’re done, I’ll get back to writing. The call lasted an hour. Oh well, time to take a break! But after, I will get straight back to writing.
Curse you procrastination. Curse you.
Writing When I Feel Like It
I am one of the laziest and most unorganised of people. Who knows how I managed to graduate from University with a 2:1. I left pretty much all of my work until the last minute, since I had no concept of structure or time. I’m getting a lot better at writing everyday as of late. I’ve been writing everyday for the last two weeks, but the problem is that I have no structure. I just write whenever and for however long. It’s easy enough to do this when you’re unemployed, but when you have a full time job this is a whole different story. Having structure and being productive within the time you allot yourself is the key to a successful writing life. This is just something I need to work on mastering.
Not Focusing on Writing When I’m Writing
Why, oh why must I spend time reliving or dreaming up scenarios in my head of things that are never going to happen? I live my life in my head sometimes which does nothing but kill time. Time that could have been spent on writing. It needs to stop.
Drinking Wine before Writing
Wine is nice after a long day, but wine makes me lose focus. It makes me want to relax, not write. I’ve got to write before the wine. Or ditch the wine altogether. But wine is so good. Choices! It’s tough.
Not Waking up Early Enough to Write
I love sleep. It’s one of my favourite things to do. I live for sleep! The best part of the day! I need at least eight hours sleep to feel human, but when you have a full time job and work for eight hours, it’s hard to make time for writing. You can either get up early in the morning and write, or stay up at night and write. Thing is, I like to relax after work, daydream, eat dinner and drink a glass of wine. Work leaves me feeling tired and drained, so when I try to write in the evening I often find myself unfocused and longing for rest. Waking up earlier in the morning to write seems like a better option for me, but ditching that extra hour or two hors of sleep is tough! It’s another cycle that’s hard to crack and I’ve skipped endless days of writing because of it.
Working in an Unorganised Space
Because an organised writing space is an organised mind, which explains a lot (I’m an unorganised mess).
I have quite a few bad habits that I need to work on, but knowing and identifying these bad habits of mine is the first step to…. recovery?! You have to know to grow, or something like that.