Break It! By Ann Haywood Leal

Why is it that they are so easy to form and so hard to break? . . . Bad ones, that is.

It may sound a bit simplistic, but when it comes to bad writing habits, I like to think of opposites.

One of my bad writing habits is not getting started right away.  I'll try to get everything else done (including cleaning the cat box and washing every last dish), and THEN I'll get started on my writing.  Is it that necessary to do that online jigsaw puzzle?  And I'm  pretty sure the New York Times isn't going anywhere any time soon, and social media is most likely here to stay. 

So I tried out my theory of opposites.  (By the way, it's so much easier to dish out "wise" advice than to take it yourself, isn't it??)  I actually got started right away--first thing in the morning, I opened my computer and got going with my writing.  (Full disclosure:  I did get myself some coffee, first.)  

I'd love to tell you that it went totally without a hitch; I wrote five chapters in one hour and my fingers were literally flying across the keys.  But . . . the reality of it all is that a mild form of what could only be panic set in:  WHAT IF IT'S SOMEONE'S BIRTHDAY AND IT'S ALREADY SEVEN A.M. AND I HAVEN'T YET WISHED THEM A HAPPY BIRTHDAY ON FACEBOOK?!  WHAT IF THERE'S A REALLY CUTE DOG PICTURE ON INSTAGRAM AND EVERYONE WILL BE TALKING ABOUT HOW CUTE IT IS AND IT WILL HAVE ALREADY DISAPPEARED INTO INSTAGRAM OBLIVION WITHOUT MY "LIKING" IT?! . . . and so on.

But as my de-habiting morning and days went on, that voice started to get quieter, and I actually did get a whole lot of writing done, including this blog post.

Some "experts" say that it takes 21 days to break a bad habit; some say a whopping 30.  But think about how much more writing you will have gotten done in those weeks!


  1. I'm getting guiltier and guiltier of not getting started right away. This is inspiring me to do the opposite.


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