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Thursday, October 22, 2009

I'm Hanging Up My Shoes...Again! Day 4

Boy, this week is flying by. It seems like just yesterday, I explained that I was "partially" unplugging for the week and that I'd be blogging about the five words that my friend Kristen Torres-Toro gave me. I'm blogging about a different one each day. And here it is, already Thursday. Where does the time go? Anyway, today's word (or phrase) is: Caffeine Fix Well, that's easy. Coffee. No doubt about it. I have loved coffee since the very first time I tasted it (I think I was ten). I used to drink tea and diet coke, too, but I gave those beverages up. I could never give up coffee, though. It's a bad habit. I know. But I'm not pleasant until I've had my coffee. I did, however, give it up when I was pregnant (all three times), and I was fine. I had to be, you know, for the good of the child. So why can't I give it up now? This has got me thinking about my writing habits. How many of them are necessary? How many are all in my head? My worst habit when it comes to writing is editing as I go. It slows me down, and I waste a lot of paper, much to the chagrin of my eco-friendly daughter. With NaNo coming up, this just will not work. Why can't I just kick the habit for the good of my new baby (manuscript) and write, write, write, without editing, editing, editing? Do you have any bad writing habits? Please tell me you do so I don't feel all alone. Also, please pop in tomorrow for my interview with K.M. Weiland, author of the newly released Behold the Dawn. Now, I'm not trying to bribe you or anything, but there will be a giveaway.

42 comments:

Erica said...

I have the same habit- editing too much when I write. Happens to the best of us :) I LOVE coffee, but can only drink decaf now, I have a medical condition that will not allow me to ever have caffeine- sucks- but what can you do?

Starbucks- skinny white chocolate mocha is my favorite!

We'll see if I can turn off the editor for NaNo- guess I'll have to if I want 50,000 words :)

Janna Qualman said...

Me too! Although I bounce back and forth between coffee, chai tea and Dr Pepper. I "have" to have one or the other.

I used to feel this way, Susan. But just because others write and write without editing as they go doesn't mean we should. I finally decided that it's time to embrace my constant polishing. It can make for slow going, but it's my style. And it makes things more smooth for later, when the real edits begin.

Tara said...

I edit as I go, but I don't consider it a bad habit. And coffee is actually better than other drinks packed with high fructose corn syrup. So, not so bad (in my opinion).

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

I've quit Coca-Cola so many times. Last time I quit it just to prove I could, because so many people thought I was addicted. It was easy. No headaches. But then I started drinking it again. You see, I just love how it tastes. It's not an addiction, it's just something I love. Makes it hard to walk away for good, even though I know I need to.

I just started editing as I go and I want to stop. It definitely gets in the way of the flow of everything to stop mid sentence and try to word it correctly. I feel for you! You can do it!

Natalie said...

I have an editing addiction too. NaNoMo is going to be very interesting...

MattDel said...

Hi my name is Matthew and I'm an editing addict.

Maybe we should start a support group? Editing Addicts Anonymous or something ... We could even develop our own 12-Step Program.

And t-shirts.

Who doesn't love fun t-shirts?

Patti said...

It's funny how you know it slows you down when you go back and edit. I know how much better I feel when I just write and not worry about anything else until later that is.

I think self doubt might be my biggest bad habit at least right now.

Beth said...

Oh, sister. It's as if I've written this blog myself, except replace coffee with Coke and we're good to go!!! I am SO BAD about editing while writing, but I'm working on getting better about it. It is a DAILY struggle, but WE CAN DO IT!

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

I've tried to like coffee, but can't bear it. And I'm allergic to coke, so I stick with iced tea. If I don't have tea in the morning, a migraine is soon to follow. And I gave it up while pregnant too, but can't seem to do that now. Hmm.

I have a wicked internal editor as well, but my results are so much better (and quicker) when I just tie her up and leave her stewing in a corner.

Suzyhayze said...

Second guessing. When I write... the stuff that comes out first is best. That isn't just me talking... (though I know it is opposite from a lot of other writer's experiences) but truly, I'm one of those who should leave my quick stuff be. Edit for grammar and a few overused words and STOP TOUCHING IT. BUT OH NO. I am so worried about those first thirty pages or so, I over edit them into literary oblivion. I need to learn about ME. The way I write. The way I revise. Fast, for me, is good. When I let myself think... not so good.

Tamika: said...

Susan, I love coffee! Everyday I have at least a cup in the morning, the taste is just rich and smooth. Hmmm.

My internal editor is always trying sabotage my goals. NaNo is going to be the first test of trying to push past the habit.

Praying that I will make 50,000 to prove that that voice can be silenced when it's time.

See you back here tomorrow!

L. T. Host said...

You know, it's so hard to turn off that little voice. But I forced myself with this new one to write; and not look back at anything I'd already written unless I was fact-checking. It worked-- it was hard-- but it worked.

I think it really helped my writing, too. The story flows naturally, just like it came out of my head. Now I can go back and fix all the little discrepancies on my own, and it won't interrupt my drive to tell the story.

My other bad habit? Adverbs. I love me some adverbs, verily.

Deb@RGRamblings said...

I need my two cups of 'real' coffee in the morning and then I switch to decaf or maybe green tea.

I was finally able to stop editing as I go when I set myself a strict time limit to finish my draft. There was no time to look back! Good luck with NaNo Susan. You can do it! Just focus on the end line!

Terri Tiffany said...

I don't drink coffee though I have days I wish I did:) Bad writing habits? I am sure I have a ton of them--probably comparing my work to others.

Lori said...

I never really liked coffee much before I started to make it 3/4 milk. Then it really became this great, indispensable thing.

Kristi Faith said...

Such a great post, I had to smile when I noticed all the Coke lovers... :) ME TOO!! I'm horrible, and I quit drinking it while pregnant, but always go right back to it. My other bad writing habits? Oh great, write a sentence, then delete the sentence. Not even, go back and edit or revise, just delete it as soon as the last word is typed. LOL And smoking...argh...when I'm stuck, I light up. I am going to start a smoking cessation program with my dr next month. I'm also really bad about starting new stories....constantly. Half of it is because if I have an idea start stewing, I have to write it or I lose it (I have major memory issues).

Love your posts!!

Amy said...

Coffee lover here, too, as well as harsh inner editor/critic. I have a friend who gets her first draft down lickety-split and loves what she writes. She hates rewriting. I wish I could be more like her! I could revise 'til the proverbial cows come home. Love your blog and I see you're a fan of Six Sentences. I've had sentences published w/them--both online and in their latest anthology. I'm wondering if they've published any of your six. I'll check you out over there!

Anita Saxena said...

I can't stop. It's a compulsion. I have to edit as I go.
The way I get around this is I often free write with pen and paper. It curbs the compulsion. And then when I'm done, I type out what I've written and then edit as I go.

paulgreci said...

I drink a mug of strong black tea with a little honey and milk. Usually I write for an hour before having my tea--that's one habit.

On my first ms I edited before finishing the first draft. I have mostly broken that habit. I realized that I was editing things that I might delete later.

Other writing habits: I talk outloud to myself. I move around alot, trying out mannerisms and facial expressions that I'm giving my characters. I'm sure I look kind of crazy in this tiny room talking to myself and making faces and all this on top of treadmill.
Today I'll have to make some adjustments because I'll be getting on a bus and then an airplane--a 17 hour journey back to Alaska. I'll have to be quiet and not make too many faces.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I have a very strong internal editor so it takes me quite a while for that first draft chapter to be written, BUT I really don't have to sepnd much time editing after that. I'm looking more at the bigger picture kind of thing when the first draft is done.

And I MUST have my two cups of coffee in the morning or I can't function. I'm an addict. LOL

Angie Muresan said...

My addictions are caffeine and buttery pastries. Don't think of them as addictions though, as I refuse to give them up.
Writing wise, I also write and edit, edit, edit.

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

I'm with you. If I see that something is spelled wrong, I often have to go fix it. It drives me nuts and as you wrote, slows me down.
~ Wendy

Karen said...

My bad writing habit is ADD. I start working on something I'm really excited about, but it takes too long to get it finished, so then I think up a new idea I'm excited about and go to work on that without going back to the novel I was working on before.

That's not happening this time, though. I'm taking NaNo off to write something new, but December 1st I go back to my current WIP.

Dominique said...

My bad habit is that I don't always know how to prioritize or balance. Now that I'm trying to fit writing more into my schedule, I find that it often intrudes into sleeping or eating or those other nice things that keep body and soul together. So either I'm not doing anything with it or I'm trying to do too much.

Julie Dao said...

I have the same bad habit! I edit while I write and if I could only tell myself to stop, I could be sooo much more productive. I also second-guess myself a lot. Such is life... I never got hooked on coffee for some reason and everyone else did! I used to feel out of the loop but now and then I get one just to feel cool. My favorite hot drink is cocoa. :)

Stephanie Faris said...

Worst writing habit: NOT editing enough. You and I together would make the perfect writer!

K. M. Walton said...

You know me and commas. I tend to over-comma and then on the flip side, I under-comma. Go figure.

And I'm like Stephanie Faris, I tend to not edit enough.

staceyjwarner said...

I edit but I love it. I write a chapter and then go over it again, I find I'm still in the moment and can get deeper into the moment when I go over it again before moving on. I also like to have the chapter in a good place so when I got back to rewrite it doesn't feel impossible...maybe I'm crazy but this is how I wrote my screenplays too.

Much love!

Jade said...

I'm the opposite. I don't touch my writing whilst I'm working on it. It sounds good in theory, but when I get to the editing stage, my ms looks like a thesaurus threw up on it.

Bad habits....I probably procrastinate too much. I really need to work on a computer that doesn't have the internet. I constantly find myself thinking, "I wonder if Susan's updated her blog...?"

~Ellie Kings~ said...

Oh! (sigh) you guys make me feel so good! yeay, I'm not alone and apparently, neither are you Susan. Most of my work is poetry/spoken word. When I decided to actually start a book, (I hate to admit) it's taken me years literally, because of the whole editing thing and procrastination. That is my worst habit, awkh!, and I hate that I'm that way! I get fired up, motivated and keys clicking away,... and then.... I get side-tracked, procrastinate, and write nothing, absolutely, nothing!
I'm so glad that I decided to blog, because meeting you, Susan, and reading other blogs has helped me focus a little more.
PS. Coffee is my friend! :)

melane said...

I don't drink coffee a lot, but I love Coke and Dr. Pepper for a caffeine fix.

My inner editor is driving me insane. I can't write anything new without editing the previous chapter.

Tabitha Bird said...

My bad habit is... not believing I can write :) Still pushing through that one.

Abby said...

I can't help editting as I go, either. Makes me a little crazy. My caffeine fix is definitely Dr. Pepper, though I haven't had one since Saturday. Trying again to quit. We'll see if it sticks this time. :)

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

No! They say coffee is good for you now (in moderation).

Bad writing habits? Tons, but in the spirit of coffee, I tried to put my laptop in the microwave once. I meant to reheat my coffee but I was lacking sleep, reading intensely, and had mug in one hand, laptop in the other arm. Shoved the wrong hand towards the microwave. Thank goodness it didnt fit.

WhisperingWriter said...

I don't drink coffee. I wish I did but I could never get a taste for the stuff.

I get my caffeine in the form of diet sodas.

And I also edit while I'm writing. I can't help it.

Leah Rubin said...

Life without caffeine? That does not compute, Will Robinson! (Dating myself, as usual.)

Do I dare try to go NaNoMo? I fear I'll fail, because of time constraints... Am I copping out? Heeeeeelp...

Rae said...

I am glad to know I am not the only one with bad editing habits. Like many of the others, I edit as I go. Way too time consuming though.

MG Higgins said...

I do a lot of editing as I write and I think it's a form of procrastination. NaNo is going to be a challenge for me, too! But a good challenge.

Stephanie Thornton said...

I used to drink four bottles of Mountain Dew a day. Thank goodness that was in high school when my metabolism is in high gear. :)

I edit a little as I go. My latest bad habit is not reading out loud as I edit. I said I was going to do a full aloud, but I think I only managed half. And that might be with some rounding up.

Oh well- I have one more edit ahead of me. Maybe I'll manage it then.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Oh, I'm afraid I am addicted to this, as well. Definitely need my morning java, afternoon, and sometimes even early evening fix as well.

Girl in My Own World said...

I have the same problem. For some reason it just does not feel right to just write and not go back. lol. I love coffee. I actually decided not to give it up. I love it too too much! :o)

GutsyWriter said...

I love coffee and treat myself to a great large cup at Peet's coffee, every morning. I think it's a luxury and a special treat that motivates me to write.
As far as bad habits with my writing, I get distracted too easily, so I have to leave my house and pretend the library is my office. Enjoy your posts. Glad to see we all have similar issues as writers.