The Vices of Publishing A Novel, According to Jenni L. Walsh

This week, we’re talking vices. And, I gotta say, leave it to writers to put together a comprehensive list of ’em. I came across this very long list on WRITEWORLD. Naturally, I scrolled through to see which ones I’ve been known to exhibit, especially during my road to publication. Warning: it’s not pretty. Addiction – Not…
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Bad Habits? Deb Dana Has a Few…

Bad habits. Oh, boy. I certainly have a few of those.

For me, I define a bad habit as something I know I shouldn’t do or something I try not to do but end up doing it anyway. For example:

1. Talking too much. Overcoming my tendency to blather on…and on…and on…has been a lifelong struggle and one I still have not mastered. I’m better now than I used to be, but no one who knows me would say, “Dana? Oh, you can never get a peep out of her.”

2. Picking at my cuticles. I know — ick. You all probably just cringed. I’m sorry. This is 5,000 times worse than biting one’s nails, and yet I do it anyway, usually when I’m stressed or nervous. I’m not as bad now as I was in college, but I still haven’t dispensed with this habit altogether.

3. Obsessing and/or stressing over matters that are largely out of my control. See: launching debut novel, giving birth to first child.

4. Wasting time on the internet. See: Twitter, Facebook.

5. Over-explaining. Whether it’s in one of my books or in a conversation with my husband, I tend to “over explain.” This is a horrible habit in all walks of life, one that implies your reader or friend or husband isn’t smart enough to get your point the first time around (even though that isn’t what I think at all!). I would elaborate more on this one, but…I think you get my point. (:

These are just five so-called bad habits that come to mind right now. I’m sure I have dozens of others (and I’m sure my loved ones could tell you exactly what those are).

But here’s the thing: no one is perfect. And if you think you are…well, I’m pretty sure that proves my point. Bad habits may not be good for us, but if we can recognize them when they rear their heads, we can work toward overcoming them. And if we’re always working toward making ourselves and our habits better (and a little less “bad”), then maybe those habits aren’t so bad after all.

What do you think? Do you think “bad habits” are just a lazy excuse to do things we know we shouldn’t? Or, once we know what our vices are, can they actually make us better?