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The Sirens of Suspense




Rosemary Harris is the author of the Dirty Business mystery series. Her latest book SLUGFEST (now in paperback on Amazon) is set at a legendary flower show where more than just the plants are dying. It required many hours in the garden, a little redecorating and lots of research. She is past president of MWA's NY Chapter and SINC's New England Chapter. In her spare time she volunteers at Habitat for Humanity and with her husband and the help of many generous friends she has helped to build a library in central Tanzania.

Find Rosemary on Facebook.

Top Ten Ways to Avoid item1

I had intended to post a piece about writers and discipline. Absent the motivation of an enormous check or contract (which most of us don't have) what keeps us in our chairs banging out pages? I'm also going to assume that unlike Colette, our spouses are not chaining us to our desks. I wrote the piece, read it and then read it to my husband. It was "good" he said, in between pitches of the Yankees game. It was worse, I thought. It was earnest. Who wants earnest on a Monday morning? So I scrapped that post and decided to take another tack. The subject of discipline was still on my mind (no, I'm not reading 50 Shades of anything) - so instead I came up with this list.

10. Cleaning my desk. How can I work under these conditions?
9. Updating lists (Outlook, Constant Contact, mailing lists, etc.) Suddenly it's vital to enter the business card coordinates of everyone I've met in the last two years.
8. Moving the furniture. If only my files were closer (further away) I'd be so much more efficient.
7. Is it time to eat yet? Is it possible it's only 11:15? Well, by the time I go downstairs and make something...
6.Re-reading WIP from page one. Always a mistake.
5. Checking emails. You were tagged is never important. Never. Unless you were with George Clooney last night and somehow forgot, the tagged facebook picture of you is either something you already know about or something unflattering that you wish you'd never seen.
4. Taking the dog out. I can get away with this once or twice during the writing day, but when the dog starts pretending to be asleep I know I'm overdoing it.
3. Weeding is fundamental. Granted this will only make sense to writers who have gardens. Only they will hear the siren song of the chickweed and the mile-a-minute vine. Do not answer. The weeds will still be there when you finish your word count.
2. Bird-watching. Again this will only apply to writers who have large windows overlooking trees. Last month I spent hours watching a barred owl who moved exactly once.
1. And the number one way to avoid writing - research. The most insidious of all because you can actually convince yourself you're working even as your finger skates dangerously close to the link that will at last reveal how Lindsay Lohan came to be found unconscious in a hotel room.


TELL US HOW YOU AVOID WORK, OR ASK ROSEMARY A QUESTION by commenting below or visit us and share your thoughts on our Facebook page and be entered to win a copy of SLUGFEST

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