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Breaking Bad Habits (Contest)
Wednesday, January 4th, 2023

UPDATE: The winner is…Mary Preston!

I have lots of bad habits. I’m sure you do, too. The one that causes me the most stress is the one where I think I have to conquer one mountain at a time. By that, I mean if I have a huge edit job, I have to work through it to the exclusion of writing. Which causes me to go down to the wire when it comes to finishing a book. I wrote Guarding Hannah in a ridiculously short time. Yeah, I’m really happy with the story. In fact, I think it’s one of the best I’ve ever written, but that isn’t the point. I need to destress, not run on adrenaline.

That’s my big goal this year. Destress the work. Get little bites done in an orderly fashion as I march toward completion. I know how to do this. I was a program manager in a past life. I used to work on multiple story projects at one time using some advanced planning techniques, but I’m not going for that now. I don’t want to write MORE. I want to write in such a way that I have time to devote to something that gives me greater joy—like painting.

Yes, doodling things like these makes me happy.

I want more time to sit with paint and paper. I want more time to take some classes and learn how to do it well. I feel like I did when I started writing—I want to know everything, try everything, right now! Not that I’m looking to make it another gig for money. I just want to explore an artistic path for passion’s sake.

But to get there, I have to rope in my chaotic work habits. I’ve begun this year anew. So far, so good. I’m making progress on my new story, Mica, and I’m working on a set of edits I’ll finish this week. In the meantime, I’ve been painting in the evenings and organizing my studio space (does that ever end?). I’ll get there…in incremental steps rather than putting all my energy into fits of activity. That’s so exhausting, isn’t it?

So, I’d love to give away one of these postcards. Winner’s choice. Tell me what bad habit you’d like to tackle this year.

11 comments to “Breaking Bad Habits (Contest)”

  1. Laura
    · January 4th, 2023 at 1:38 pm · Link

    I have a couple of questions.

    1/ You were working on an anthology in early 22, has it been published and I missed it or is this one of the things you are working on?

    2/ You have on your list of Standalones on your website a book called Wild Thing. It was suppose to come out Dec/22 with no info on it. Is that something that is still to come out?

    My bad habit I am trying to break for January is my tendency to over eat bad foods. I can do really good for a few days and then succumb to pastries or cake or pie or other sugary goodies.

    February I am going to work on exercise. My knee still gives me issues but I have to find a way to get around it and add 45 min of exercise to my days.

    March is the month to learn something new.

    That is what I have so far. I don’t want to plan too far in advance so I don[t stress and become over whelmed.

  2. Delilah
    · January 4th, 2023 at 3:36 pm · Link

    Hey Laura!

    I’m nearing the end of my work on the anthology. But we’ll have it sometime this Spring.

    Wild Thing is something I’ve had to push way down the list. I have other books with hard dates I have to finish first.

    You have a sugar tooth. My downfall is salty foods. I can pass cake and pie, but a lovely salty tortilla chip? Gah.

    I’m back on Weight Watchers. Counting those points. If there’s something I really, really love, I “budget” those points rather than depriving myself. I kept most of what I lost off last year. Now, I have another modest goal for this year. I don’t think losing tons fast is healthy. What I can do is count those points, forgive myself if I cheat, and then move forward again. I’m watching my salt and drinking water. I will take the stairs more often than I do now. And come summer, I’ll swim at least once a day.

    Can’t wait to hear what you learn in March.

    Good luck with your goals!!

  3. Laura
    · January 4th, 2023 at 4:05 pm · Link

    When it comes to sugary things I’ve binge eat. If I buy ice cream once I start ate the entire container whether it’s 2 cups or 16. I don’t know why that is so it’s best just to avoid it for me. I’m going to look at sugar like cigarettes, I quit smoking in 2003 sugar is going to be the same thing. I just can’t have one.

  4. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · January 4th, 2023 at 4:09 pm · Link

    Compulsive eating. I notice I eat when I’m not hungry, but if I go into the kitchen I come out eating something. What’s up with that?

  5. Beverly
    · January 4th, 2023 at 4:40 pm · Link

    I need to not procrastinate with certain things that need doing. I put stuff off & then have to make that mad dash to finish. I’d love having one of those postcards. Your “doodles” as you call them are really very pretty.

  6. Mary Preston
    · January 4th, 2023 at 7:27 pm · Link

    I have the habit of preferring to do things myself instead of delegating. A bit OCD of me, however………

  7. flchen1
    · January 4th, 2023 at 9:09 pm · Link

    Sooooo many bad habits, LOL! Procrastinating, binge eating (both sweet and salty, of course!), ignoring the clutter… Lots of places to start!

  8. Jennifer Beyer
    · January 4th, 2023 at 10:03 pm · Link

    Easy question! I am using my day planner every day again rolling my to-do list from day to day. I stopped using it a few years ago and I know how much more efficient I am when I am using it.

  9. bn100
    · January 4th, 2023 at 10:26 pm · Link

    more exercise

  10. Debra Guyette
    · January 5th, 2023 at 7:20 am · Link

    Mine would be procrastination. I am working on it but unfortunately still thinking about it.

  11. Delilah
    · January 17th, 2023 at 5:13 am · Link

    LOL. So many bad habits to break! And Debra! Funny!

    The winner of a postcard (chosen by a random number generator) is…Mary Preston!

    Congrats, Mary! Please email me at to let me know where to send it!

Comments are closed.