If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our October Author Interviews--10/4 Wendy Tyson, 10/11 Marilyn Levinson, 10/18 Earl Javorski, 10/25 Linda Lovely. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


October Saturday Guest Bloggers: 10/7 Mark Bacon, 10/14 Elaine Orr, 10/21 WWK's Margaret S. Hamilton, 10/28 Kait Carson, and E. B. Davis 10/31 to fill out our fifth Tuesday.


WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla! Look for Carla's blog this month to find out the winner.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.
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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Make Your Bed!



The New Year is an optimistic time filled with possibilities; it’s the perfect time to form new and useful habits. According to a Reader’s Digest article the most impactful habit is to make your bed every morning.

The theory is that making your bed is a keystone habit. That one habit creates structure and becomes a catalyst for other good behaviors and habits. Making your bed daily is correlated with better productivity, happiness and even helps you stick to a budget.

I’ll confess that I’m not a morning person and can’t talk to anyone until after 10:00 am, but I do make my bed every morning and have for years. I’ve perfected my waking routine. First, I smack the snooze button a few (okay, five) times, sit up and pull the sheet and comforter taut. Then I fall out of bed, stumble over to the other side and straighten the covers. Finished!

But what would happen if I actually took the time to carefully place those designer pillows on the bed? You know--the ones that most people, including me, have stuffed in the closet. Would this simple act propel me to better writing productivity? Or, would I just get annoyed? I had to find out.

I began this experiment on the auspicious date of 12/12/12. I thought about waiting until the New Year but decided that the date was too unique to pass up. That evening a family member remarked, “Oh, look, you made the bed.”  Seriously? I thought I had been making the bed for years. What else have I been doing incompletely?

I read that it takes twenty-one consecutive days for a new habit to stick. That means if I miss a day, I have to begin again with day one. At the start of my experiment I was a consistent bed maker including the designer, dust-collecting pillows. But, I skipped day thirteen due to a horde of houseguests arriving in the wee hours of the morning. So, on what would have been day fourteen, I had to start over.

My hope is that this newly formed bed-making-with-pillows habit will pave the way for more meaningful habits that become an automatic part of my life. One habit that I hope sticks is to write at least 1,000 words OR edit for two hours a day, five days a week as prescribed in Carolyn See’s, Making a Literary Life. Currently, I might write all day but then nothing for the next few days. I’m aiming for discipline and consistency to keep my momentum.

Are you working on new habits this year? Or, ditching unhelpful ones?

9 comments:

James Montgomery Jackson said...

The flywheel approach to a central habit is interesting. Back in 1987 I finally gave up smoking. Much to my surprise I discovered I no longer chewed my nails (which I had been doing since a child—long before I started smoking). I had to find nail clippers, having had no use of them for all the years I could remember. I haven’t taken up smoking again nor have I had any interest in chewing my nails.

Obviously, smoking cessation somehow triggered the secession of nail biting as well. I suppose I could test this by taking up smoking again and see if I start chawing on my nails, but I guess we’ll just have to leave that experiment to doubt.

~ Jim

Kara Cerise said...

That's fantastic, Jim! My sister stopped smoking a few years ago. It wasn't easy for her (understatement) and it led to her giving up another bad habit. I agree that there must be some kind of domino effect happening but it's probably better not to test that theory.

E. B. Davis said...

Yes, I've heard that it takes three weeks to establish new habits. But how long does it take to break bad ones?

PS--I always make my bed or I sleep disheveled.

Kara Cerise said...

Good question, E.B. My guess is that it depends on the person and the habit. I read that it's important to replace a bad habit with a positive one so as not to trade one bad habit for another.

Gloria Alden said...

My youngest daughter gave up smoking and has never started it again. She doesn't even like being around smokers. My son quit for more than a year, but after he had his motorcycle accident and was off work for some time, he took it up again.

As for making my bed, I do it everyday without fail unless I'm sick which is rather rare. I'm not that fastidious about the rest of my house although I wish I were sometimes. Like tomorrow when a member of my book club is coming for lunch and to buy a book. Somehow, I have to find time to clean the house with all the other must do's I have to do today.

Warren Bull said...

My bed looks lie, well, an unmade bed. I do try to write regularly.

Kara Cerise said...

Gloria, I'm sure you're so busy with your book launch that it's difficult to find time to finish everything on your To Do list.

My copy of The Blue Rose just arrived and I can't wait to read it!

Carla Damron said...

I need to remember about the 21 days. Informative blog!

Kara Cerise said...

Warren, your writing habits seem to work perfectly for you. You don't need to make the bed.

Thanks, Carla! I don't know why it takes 21 days for a habit to stick but it seems to work.