Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Looking for Bad Writing Habits? Have a Baby by Lori L. Tharps

Hi Girlfriends,

It's been awhile, but I have a really good excuse. I was busy having a baby and I'm just now crawling back to the land of the living. When did my little bundle of joy arrive, you ask? Last month? Over the winter holidays? No, I admit, babygirl arrived in the heat of summer, but it still feels like yesterday. And I don't mean that nostalgically. I mean that I still can't quite figure out how to manage a newborn, two older kids, a job and all the other stuff that comes with the aforementioned trappings of this woman's life and find time to start my next book.

I find it absolutely hilarious, however, that the main character in my novel, Substitute Me, didn't have such problems. She transitioned from new mom to working mom with ease and grace. She found the perfect nanny and breezed right back into her whirlwind life as a corporate PR exec. How is it possible that I could create such a character, yet can't imitate her ways? I guess I didn't realize I was writing fantasy fiction. Then again, my character's nanny kind of destroys her life so I guess, I'm not totally jealous.

So, without further ado, here are five things you should never, ever, do, if you want to cultivate a productive writing life:

1. Have Children. At all. They are a major time suck. Even when they're sleeping you might, like me, have to stay in their room and watch them breathe to make sure they are actually asleep and not in a coma.

2. Get Cable. Like children, cable television will absolutely steal all of your time. Marathon episodes of A Baby Story are particularly addictive and may even lead to you accidentally getting knocked up which would mean you'd have children. (See #1 above).

3. Have Access to the Internet. The Internet is like that boy who always used to pull your hair in second grade. It is a major distraction and you won't be able to ignore it. Email, texting, tweeting, will always demand your immediate attention. The Internet is almost worse than children. But at least, you can unplug it for days at a time. There's no off button on your kids (sigh)

4. Think About All of the Money and Fame You Will Achieve From Your As Yet Unwritten Book. I don't think this really requires any explanation, but for those of you who still think you're going to pen the next Harry Potter or Twilight Series, it's probably not going to happen. Instead, you must write for the sheer joy of writing so that when you do publish your beautiful work of art and only make modest amounts for your effort, you feel overjoyed not betrayed.

5. Have an Attractive, Loving Husband/Boyfriend. He may mean well, but he will never understand why he has to shut up while you agonize in front of your computer for hours, sometimes days on end. He will pout and groan and complain that you are ignoring him. And to make him feel better (and perhaps it will make you feel better too) you will appease him with mercy sex. This in turn could lead to you getting knocked up (see #1 as to why this isn't a good idea).

So, there you have it girlfriends. Heed my warnings and you'll be on the right track to being very productive writers this year. Good luck!


Lori L. Tharps is actually in love with all three of her children and writes about them a lot on her blog at My American Meltingpot.com

12 comments:

  1. This is hilarious because it is so effing true. Especially #1 and #3. Re #5, take solace in the fact that even if he didn't complain about being ignored you'd probably pay him some attention. Nookie is like the best procrastination.

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  2. Oh, Lorie, thanks for the morning laugh!

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  3. So true, Lori! Especially the part about watching kids sleep. :)

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  4. Loved this . . . if only I'd read it, say, 27 years ago . . .

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  5. Lori, I'm going to repeat what everyone else is saying: this is so funny and perfect! I'm especially chuckling over your intro graphs and #1 'cause I'm pregnant now (due in June), and already the baby has taken over my life (and my brain). It's going to feel like a miracle when I finally get this current book finished and turned in (yep, had to get a deadline extension). I always said that I was in awe of my friends who wrote books (sometimes two a year) and raised children. Now I'm doubly amazed! Thanks for putting a smile on my face early in this crazy day.

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  6. Ernessa,
    I'm glad to know you agree.

    Maria,
    You're welcome!

    Sara,
    Does this mean I'm not the only one who periodically checks to make sure the kids are breathing?

    Judy,
    If only I'd known this 27 years ago!

    Brenda,
    You can relate right?

    Susan,
    You're welcome. And congrats and good luck with the baby. He/she will suck away your time, but you'll enjoy every minute.

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  7. I agree and sadly have violated all these rules.
    Great post

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  8. Too funny! So glad your leave of absence is over with. Welcome back!

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  9. Ariella,
    Thanks. And don't beat yourself up about it. Your life is prolly way more fun!

    Karin,
    It's good to be back!

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  10. Ha! I loved this. Well, I don't have children yet and I'm single so I can breathe a little easy in those areas. I think... Hmmm... So true about cable and the Internet. They are like magnets! Still trying to balance my addiction to both! So nice visiting your blog. I will return!

    http://lyricfire.typepad.com/lyric-fire/2012/01/lyric-fire-word-warrior-or-apathetic-author-.html

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  11. Your life is prolly way more fun! D you also have a post about baby jogger stroller ?

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