The January 2011 issue of RWA’s Romance Writers Report included an article titled “The Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective (Has-Been) Authors.” Although I can’t quite be a has-been when I’m still a never-was, it got me thinking about my own bad habits.

In the article, Diane Farr asks: “What bad author habits are holding you back?” The habits she deems ineffective are:

  • Greed
  • Laziness
  • Rudeness
  • Blabbing
  • Unreliability
  • Pride
  • Ingratitude

I’ve definitely been guilty of laziness, waiting for inspiration to strike. Why, I’ve gone entire years without writing because I wasn’t “inspired.” I started “Blind Date Bride” well before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and didn’t finish it until December 2009.

But that was the old me. Nowadays, I much more in tune with writing. In 2010, I completed a half-finished MS, expanded and edited two mostly finished MSs to the proper category length and wrote a 53,000-word novel during NaNo. And I did it all while putting together six issues of NARWA’s newsletter.

Yes, I still waste plenty of time online, playing on Twitter and Facebook … hanging out with my friends on their weight-loss blogs (or my writer friends on their blogs). But I no longer let that keep me from doing something writing-related.) There really are enough hours in the day, if I limit my time with Bejeweled.

As for the rest of the seven habits?

I certainly hope I’m not rude, although I haven’t attended a conference yet. I don’t know enough to be blabbing inside information.

I’m so reliable and set in my routines that you can almost set your watch by me. If I’m in town, I’ll be at Barnes & Noble on Sunday before work; I hit the Starbucks before work a couple of times a week; I stay up late when I get off work to write, blog, what have you.

Pride? Well, I am proud of the fact that I finaled in the Beacon Contest. (Still haven’t heard about final placement, though.) And if I final in the GH, I’ll be tweeting, Facebooking and blogging about the high for weeks, I’m sure.

But I don’t think my writing is the best thing since sliced bread. I know it needs work. In editing my NaNo novel, I’m finding a lot of room for improvement.

I hope I’m not guilty of ingratitude, either. I love the boost I get from my NARWA sisters and the gals at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood (whom I wouldn’t know if our president, Anne Marie Becker, wasn’t one of them). Writing friends I’ve met through NaNo, like Mallory Snow, have been invaluable, too. (Mallory helped me sprint through my 50K in November.)

If I haven’t said it lately, thanks. You all inspire me, teach me and support me every day.

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