Good Habits, Bad Habits, and David Bowie

This weekend I revisited the 1986 movie, Labyrinth, starring David Bowie, a young Jennifer Connelly, and a slew of Jim Henson muppets. As a young teen, I rented this movie many times, but Adult Me couldn’t remember what I loved so much about it. To my delight, Netflix had it in the current streaming lineup, so I spent ninety minutes getting in touch with my teen self.

hairTeen me wanted this hair so badly.

So, dear reader, what does this have to do with good and bad habits?

Well, I’m not sure yet, but stick with me.

Going into this new year, I’m ramping up the publicity portion of my book launch (it’s out on NetGalley *gulp* and Edelweiss – I’m not even sure what that is, but it’s there) and diving into a major overhaul of Book 2. It’s a good time to reevaluate how I do things, what I can make better and what I need to stop doing.

As a writer, I’m a procrastinator. I’m not sure why the two go hand-in-hand so universally, but they do and I’m willing to accept that. But I do need to reign it in a bit. (don’t we all?)

GoblinKingImpatientMr. Bowie is losing patience with my procrastinating ways.

Most of my procrastination happens once I hop onto social media, so my goal is to get some writing work done before I check email or dive into Twitter. If I can knock out an hour of writing immediately, I’ll be more eager to return to it – as a task started is more likely to be finished. (That sounds like a saying you’d see cross-stitched on a pillow).

Related to this, I have a new addition to my home writing routine — a treadmill desk! I plan to work on it a few hours everyday. It has to be better than sitting on my tush, and then even if I spend a few hours staring at adorable animal pictures, at least I’m moving. My butt is already happier.

I also hope to stop fearing the BIG revisions. As I stare at my Book 2 manuscript, it needs so much work. A daunting amount of work. Attacking it feels a bit like entering a labyrinth (there’s the connection!), with each decision I could be taking a monumental wrong turn, making it worse instead of better. I could end up trapped in the Bog of Eternal Stench!

bogSadly, there are no accompanying sound effects.

I’m so afraid to get lost in my hot mess of a manuscript, I don’t even want to open it up — but sometimes you need to go back to go forward!

In this case, I need to not only accept, but embrace the process. Instead of thinking of it as an endless maze I can get lost in, I need to imagine it as legos I can take apart and put back together, constantly improving. Basically, I need to suck it up and get to work.

So, dear reader, that’s what I’m going to do. Work on time management, walk and work, and ignore my fear of carving up Book 2. Who knows, I might even end up writing something good.

davidBowieWow

 

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Amy Reichert

Amy E. Reichert is the author of THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE (Simon & Schuster/Gallery, July 21 2015), about food, love, and second chances, and where serendipity comes in the form of a delicious coconut cake. Find out more at amyereichert.com.

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