IWSG JAN 2016 Writing: Do You Have Bad or Enabling Habits?





Finn: “What about that ship?”  

(Pointing off screen]

Rey: “That one’s garbage”

[ship blows up]

Finn: “The garbage will do”

[shows Millennium Falcon]



Han Solo: “Escape now, hug later.” ~SWTFA

On a personal note first, I mentioned last IWSG that I had received tickets for Star Wars The Force Awakens VII premiere for my birthday.   It was AWEsome.  The fans were dressed up and wandering around in costume.  The costume were movie set real looking too, even R2D2 was there–He was taller than I thought.   The first Star Wars in 3D.  Star Wars: The Force Awakens Has Story Craft my first reaction

 I plan to buy the kindle book .  Since I already saw the movie (twice) I cannot be disappointed by movie either, but I guess I could be disappointed by the book, lol.  Definitely not disappointed by the movie, can’t wait till I can own it at home and re-watch till my hearts content.


I received  another Star Wars surprise for Christmas for my collection  “This is the droid you are looking for.”    @@shock *grin*

Mark Hamill Interview – Star Wars The Force Awakens Red Carpet

George Lucas Interview – Star Wars The Force Awakens Red Carpet


 star wars is timeless story craft in action:   THE MYTHOLOGY OF STAR WARS

Interview made in 1999 Bill Moyers discusses with George Lucas how Joseph Campbell and his concept of the Monomyth also known as the Hero’s Journey and other concepts from Mythology and Religion shaped the Star Wars saga ~YouTube


Writing Fears?  What about bad and/or enabling habits?

Distraction=Procrastination.   Both can mirror the other depending on the circumstances.   Sounds rather co-dependent, don’t it?  I’m an expert at doodling away time.  Taking a positive habit and turning it into a negative habit by taking it to the extreme in self-defeating behavior.    My writing mentor Holly Lisle would probably say to dig deeper to figure out the motivating fear that drives me in this self-defeating cycle.

Here are just a few things I can turn into a negative to distract me from actually writing.

  • Google Searches e.g. Casting characters
  • Research, sketching, mind-mapping
  • Reading fiction or watching movies (For study purposes of course*winks*)
  • Organizing OneNote, Scrivener or Word (non-writing things too)
  • Making lists
  • Social Media
  • Website tweaking and maintenance
  • Playing with Pixir, Gimp or Photoshop
  • YouTube from things about writing , how-to’s, software & tech, music to funny cat videos
  • Udemy courses.
  • Learning, reading, webinars:  Marketing, Promotion and Email List-Your Readers   (My concentration should be on finishing my novel projects and short stories, instead of spending so much time on something I am not ready for yet anyways, except gathering readers & email lists.)
  • Astrology for character building, Mythology and Psychology related stuff (Especially anything about Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey.  I’m addicted.
  • Learning all the methods such as Beat Sheets, Check Lists, Method –Outlines, and there are a lot of variations out there and I love reading about them.  Christopher Vogler’s Mythic Structure, Save The Cat by Blake Snyder ,  Writing By The Seat Of Your Pants by Elle Clouse, Story Heart Blueprint by David Villalva,  and Take Off Your Pants!: Outline Your Books for Faster, Better Writing: Revised Edition by Libby Hawker are a few of my favorites.  @@ see what I mean
  • Playing with my BB8, games and Oh, Oh… Big One…  Everything Amazon. (Including keyword searches, which I am not ready for yet, so minimal & selective time should be spent doing it.)

In a nutshell, using everything about writing from marketing strategy’s, mechanics to plotting not to write the actual story and finish it. I allow all the “other” to distract me, and as a procrastination tool.  It all needs to be done, but in its time and place.

I try to do too much, accomplish too many things, so I end up finishing nothing and accomplishing little.   I need to learn Diligent FOCUS one thing at time.  I have persistence and tenacity.  I  just need to learn to productively use them better.

Solutions-Helps:  I’m working on mine.  Here are some things that help, but my biggest obstacle still is consistency in the middle of chaos.

    • Moderation:  “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity.under the heavens.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1  A bible verse yes, but ageless wisdom.  Most thing work best in moderation, which leads to the next bullet. 
    • Time Management-allot portions of day to certain task and set a quitting time and leave the rest for tomorrow, so you and your Muse gets a break. Oh, I’ve read leave off in the middle of a scene.  It helps you start up again the next day.
    • Set Schedule for writing story only, nothing else (e.g. mind-mapping, world building)  Make an appointment with yourself each day.  Keep it without fail.  Write on your calendar or program into you scheduler on cell phone.  Google calendar will send you reminders in your gmail.
    • Timed Writings or a writing software that helps block out distractions such as:  Dr. Wicked’s Do or Die Write!-I love the crazy alerts and alarms on this thing,  OMM Writer, Scrivener Full View work area with chosen background, for just a few.  I also use Word with pics of my character cast or setting in body, as I write for inspiration.
    • Write in 10 mins spurts, even if it is only 10-20 mins a day, at least you are working toward building a positive writing habit.  21 straight days of anything they say builds a habit.  The more consecutive days the stronger the habit.





-You can also check my top menu under For Writer’s for more articles, books, gadgets and software.  I update the articles at least once a month, or more, when I read something really good.

Coincidences in Fiction: What You’re Doing Wrong K M Weiland HelpingAuthorsBecomeWriters  This touches on cause & effect in writing.  It also gives you links to other helpful post about writing.

Most Common Writing Mistakes: Are You Confusing Readers With Poor Cause and Effect? K M Weiland

Sign Up for Writer Related Resources  at Goodriter –Discount Writing Resources Every Week! New Writer Resource

31 Stylistic Devices for Creative Writers C S Larkin Live Write Thrive

Boost Your Writing: 3 Things To Do Now To Start 2016 Off Right on Writers Helping Writers by Angela Ackerman

Getting Scene Structure under Your Belt on Live Write Thrive  There is even a little assignment for improving your skill.

Heinlein’s Rules by Dean Wesley Smith Available on his site free until book is published dealing with the business of writing. 

Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing by Dean Wesley Smith

Free Promotion offer from Renee Scattergood-promote your FREE ebooks here- Instructions on the page

Free Promotion offer from Renee Scattergood-promote your DISCOUNTED ebooks here-Instructions on the page

IWSG–JOIN THE FUN, PARTICIPATE, GET SUPPORT & HELP IN THIS WRITING COMMUNITY.http://www.alexjcavanaugh.com/p/the-insecure-writers-support-group.html

 IWSG-The home blog

FACEBOOK IWSG           

 Twitter hashtag: #IWSG

Want to get in the habit of blogging at least once a month.  Get to know other writers.  Build your confidence by joining in, Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.  Blog about your fears, your triumphs,  failures, success, your expertise and passions.   Don’t forget to stop by and say HI to Alex’s co-hosts for January 2016 IWSG  L.G. Keltner, Denise Covey, Sheri Larsen, J.Q. Rose, Chemist Ken, andMichelle Wallace!

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  • I am a professional at getting distracted. Research is way too fun, so I have to just put a note to myself to research something later and just write around it. Sometimes that’s possible, sometimes not. But I try.

  • Some of those distractions actually have a place when you consider the ‘bigger picture’…it’s just that we can’t let them take over…
    There’s a time and place for writing; and a time and place for google searches etc.
    Happy New Year! 🙂

  • That list of distractions is scary – because I share most of them! Setting a schedule and sticking to it is great advice…maybe I’ll even take it. 😉

  • I waste too much time on gmail, CNN, and sometimes blogging when I should be writing. Plus there are long lunches while reading and TV in the evenings. I really need some discipline.

  • Great Christmas gifts! I loved the new movie, too.
    I struggle with a combination of distractions, but I’ve found that the days I use a timer, it helps cut those distractions down to size.

  • You got a BB8 for Christmas? Cool.
    When I’m working on something, I schedule a block of time to write every single night. And I just do it. It’s like a challenge I’ve given myself and I hate to lose.

  • doreenb8

    I love your solutions! I do seem to have all of the same distractors that you have and am vowing to end the bad habits this year!

  • My gosh . . . I can’t believe this, but I haven’t seen it yet :-/ I’ve had rounds of flu followed by me getting pink eye and now messed up corneas . . . I can’t stand the computer screen or TV or any kind of lighting for too long. As soon as my treatment is over I’m SO going to watch SWTFA!!!! Ack . . . so glad you liked it!!!

    Thanks for the resources too, they look awesome. I’m bookmarking to make sure I get to them! You ROCK!

  • snazzy star wars stuff – i’m so looking forward to seeing it with my family, we have a hard time doing something because we’re never all free at the same time!

    and distractions are so easy to find – i waste time looking for conferences and book events sometimes… but i like your solutions, time management is key!
    happy 2016!

  • spunkonastick

    If I’m feeling lazy, I’ll grab my iPad, and that will suck away precious time so fast. I’ve learned not to even check Pinterest until later in the evening, when I’m already on the couch chilling.

  • Happy New Year! I tend to procrastinate and distract myself too. I convince myself that marketing my first book is more important than writing the second, even though I know it isn’t true. It is great that you enjoyed the new Star Wars movie. Enjoying life is definitely important too. I have found that writing a few words at a time makes me less likely to procrastinate. Best of luck with your writing. You can do it! Just take it a few words at a time.

  • I was pleasantly surprised by Star Wars. but before seeing it, I was soooo nervous because I really really hoped it was going to be good… and it was!

  • It feels as if I should be bowing to the Queen of proca– I mean distractions. You are good! And the fact you have a solution is eerie. Oh what the heck, I’m bowing. I’m blogging again, instead of making my guest hosts do it, so that’s something, eh?

    Thanks for visiting my blog, Juneta. Means a lot. I love your comments.

    • *snickers* yep I’m the Queen, but I am eager to abdicate my throne. Yes that is something, you are writing. It feeds the energy. I know I feel so good when I do a good blog post it makes me want to work on my stories, so I hope it works the same for you.

  • *ahem* I’ve only seen the movie… 4 times already BUT I did not know there was a novelization, although I suppose that makes sense.

    I am totally distractible & want to do everything but what I’m supposed to work on. I’m trying to stick to a routine & a set schedule this year. That’s my big goal. So far…. I’ve done more working on fiction than school (which is what I’m supposed to be prioritizing). But… identifying problem areas is a start, right?

    • Someone who has already seen the new SW more than me, lol, although I won’t be able to see again probably until its on DVD/Digital. *pouts* Yes there is a novelization and several with the new timeline of the movie. “want to do everything but what I’m supposed to work on.” Preach to the choir girl, preach to the choir.

      Absolutely recognizing the problem is the first step to finding the fix. Best of luck to you.

  • I’m way too easily distracted. For me, the best way to get writing in was to say I will write for this many minutes a day and then set a timer and do it. I may not get anything else done, but I am at least writing. I might have to set a timer for everything I need to do. LOL!

    • Butt In Seat for me and timing does help along as I stay away from my distractions first thing. Writing first then the things that can distract.

  • I winced during your list of distractions. I try to call some of them writing too even when I’m using them to procrastinate. Fun post.

  • Loni Townsend

    I was nodding along with your list of distractions. I can apply pretty much all of them to my writing life.

    I really enjoyed watching the new Star Wars. My husband and I went opening night. We had to go at 11:30 PM, so that the kids (ages 5 and 2) were asleep, but it was still great. Glad to hear it lived up to your expectations!

  • Great ways to avoid procrastination/distractions. I’m pretty good at focusing… most of the time! Is it sad I’m the only person who has not seen the new Star Wars movie yet? I need a free babysitter.

    • Ah, yes sad, but eventually it will release on DVD and digital, I need to learn to stay focus on point till the end. I focus but I can be detoured or distracted if the writing gets complicated or hard. Best wishes in 2016

  • Great post, Juneta. I see myself in so many of these distractions. Maybe add simply futzing around with computer games rather than doing something productive. I think, at least for me, it all boils down to a need to banish the fears of not being good enough and just finish something! Best of luck with your endeavors.

  • Gosh, isn’t this the truth! I can while away hours doing ‘research’ and try to call it writing when what I should be doing is…writing! The funny thing is, when I actually get down to writing (and even the editing part) I LOVE it, and enjoy it far more than the other stuff that I have to do related to writing. So I have no idea why I procrastinate so much!

    I’m glad other writers suffer this and I’m not just loony!

    • I know its crazy we love it, so why procrastinate? I think part of it is because what I write now I plan to send out into the world and get paid, so the pressure is on, love-hate-love

  • I’ve used all the same tasks as distractions to help.me procrastinate. Sometimes it is because I’m just procrastinsting. Other times its because I really need to do those things. I’ve also done all those same things to get me back to writing and yet I still create distractions. Maybe I should look deeper into the why….

    • Recognizing the way is half battle, but you have dig deeper than you think. I have dug deep and need to dig deeper still. Happy New Year lets shake the distractions.

  • Two things.

    One, my son and I drove 2.5 hours one way to see the movie. We landed up seeing it in the afternoon and hurried back home before we faced more snow in the dark. We both loved it too, although I don’t have an BB8 to play with.

    Two, I’m good with reporting how many words I write a day to you if you’ll do the same for me. I figure that way I’ll at least put my play things away for a half hour and give the putting the words down a shot.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    • LOL, true SW love, sounds like something I would do too, but I did not have to drive so far or in bad weather.

      That sounds like a plan and sweet offer too, My words have not been many lately, but hoping to change that. I’ll drop you email soon. I guess it will motivate to keep us both accountable. TTUS

  • I still haven’t seen the new movie because I wanted to rewatch the old ones first, I was so little when they came out and I’d forgotten most of the plot. Over the holiday I watched the third of the prequel (which I confess I found lame, ok, not the whole movie, but the relationship between Anakin and Padmi was), and A New Hope which I loved. There are some plot holes, but these movies defined an era and they appeal to certain emotions. Let’s not forget that it was the late 70’s and they didn’t have all the technology we have today, so that’s incredible. And I’ve seen much worse plot holes in modern movies, which get away with a lot just because of the stunning effects.

    Oh, and have you watched the new Sherlock Holmes episode? If you missed it, it’s going to be online again on PBS:

    • I did a SW bing, after I saw the new movie, but keep up with books and expanded universe too, which is changed with the new timeline of events, oh well, I will have to check Sherlock out. I have watched previous season love it, Glad to hear we get more soon.

  • Oh gosh, I believe I’m the only person on the planet who hasn’t seen the new movie yet. #dodgestomatoes EEK! We went to the theater as a family (six of us) and it was so packed we couldn’t sit together. 🙁 We decided to wait and haven’t had time to go yet.

    I am the queen of distractions, lately, so I hear you. Your list is familiar. All the best to you in 2016!

  • And done! Just over 30 mins later!! Whoo me! And you – I wouldn’t have done that if it weren’t for your post 😉

  • Hi,
    Great post! Happy New Year!
    I loved the new Star Wars movie (& still hope to see it again soon) – kudos for getting to see the premiere – awesome!
    It looks like when you do start writing, you’ll have all that knowledge and skill to back you up – you may surprise yourself. Get out there and DO!
    I set myself 30 minute timed sessions. Write for 30 mins, then do whatever, write for another 30 mins. It works well (when I stick to it).
    Not sure if I’ll manage a post yet this month – or maybe I should set myself 30 mins to do it…
    All the best,
    A x

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