A couple weeks ago, I took a three-day class covering “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”

Most of the material wasn’t new to me. For example, habit one is about being proactive. Part of that is eliminating “have to” from your common, everyday usage.

Years ago, I made the decision that I was no longer going to say things like, “I have to write tonight.” It was going to be, instead, “I get to write tonight.” Simple change, but it helps create a sense of anticipation and excitement in me. It’s also more accurate. I love writing.

Habit three is about first things first. For me, for decades now, the writing has been the most important thing in my life. Activities that don’t support the writing get jettisoned. I’m kind of ruthless about it.

This weekend, I’ve had a bunch of things that needed doing. I decided to make a list and order it. I needed to write two chapters in “Siren’s Call” this weekend. Without thinking about it, without any debate, the writing went first on the list. Everything else could fall afterward. It was a good validation for me, that not only do I say the writing comes first, I live it.

I got back the copyedits for “The Guardian Hound” as well as some other comments, and I started going through them today. Part of me feels like I’m not doing the right work, the most important work. When I stopped to figure out what that meant, I realized it meant writing the next chapter in the current novel.

Deep habits.

I don’t know how long “Siren’s Call” is going to be. I kept thinking it was 85,000. But when I look at what I’m writing, the outline, the novel doesn’t reach that long at all. It’s between 60-70,000 words. So I’m going to stick with that for now, with the right to change my mind if it does grow.

25356 / 70000

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