How Bad Habits Are Formed
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Passion to the Third Degree.
I have a new habit and it’s a bad one. I have to break this new “Friday Night Habit.” Like most habits, it started simply and like most bad habits, it solidified way too quickly.
My day job has been grueling recently, but I’m doing okay, keeping my head above water and not getting caught up in politics and stresses as I used to. Even so, the hours are long and I’m literally quadruple-booked for the rest of May with it looking much the same through the end of September. I’m refusing to stress too much about it and, as opposed to the old days, I’m not taking on everyone else’s job in addition to my own.
Tonight, like most recent Fridays, I was sitting in a meeting after 5 pm that should have wrapped up hours before but the woman next to me wouldn’t shut up because she’s a control freak and wants everything done her way, even when she’s never even looked at the files to know how they’re done and it has nothing to do with her job, but how will the bosses ever know her name and promote her if she doesn’t call attention to herself? Anyway….
Anyway, this is why I purposely don’t plan dates for Friday nights. I can’t guarantee I’ll be home before dark. By the time I get home from sitting in dreary meetings, I’m zonked enough that I think, oh, just a quick nap. And then it’s 10 pm and I’m getting up, feeling lousy, thinking of all the work that won’t get done if I just go on to bed.
Then I start working on a project and it’s suddenly 3 am.
I did it again tonight, but I’m going to force myself to go to bed by 1 am, regardless. Maybe I’ll change my schedule to take off every other Friday just so I can have a more enjoyable weekend.
Meanwhile, I worked on some covers tonight. I wasn’t in the mood to write that “commercial suspense novel” for the big publisher I’ve been considering. I knew book sales were way down across the board but I got my royalty statement for Dark Revelations and WTF? Okay, I was prepared but still. For my tiny press’ books to outsell a suspense novel that got stellar reviews, placement in brick-and-mortar bookstores across the US and Canada, advertising, etc, and part of a series when continuity series tend to sell especially well and the original projection for these books (from the publisher) was 30-40K, well, there’s no incentive for me to write for the big boys anymore. Such is the current market in the publishing world. So, I did what I often do if I’m discouraged by the publishing world—play with something artistic.
We’re going to be re-publishing some 19th and early 20th century books from my rare book collection. We’re scanning them and changing the font to something a little easier on the eyes than Courier, reformatting them entirely, and putting new covers on them, as well as some new titles because the original titles read like narrative paragraphs. These include: 1. Thinking it Into Being: the Law of Attraction, Sex Forces, and Other Ideas on the Power of Thought, 2. How to Speak to the Dead: A Practical Guide to Communicating with the Other Side, and 3.Sex Worship: Hail to the Phallus. Okay, the title on the last one may change a little bit since the book is 700 pages long and we’ll likely split it up into volumes.
The fun part for me is that with the “republished treasures,” I’m using photos of doors on the covers, whether door knockers, lock/keyholes, or whole doorways. It’s a personally meaningful theme, looking back and unlocking these doors to the past where thoughts weren’t so different from ones my spiritual friends now entertain and you realize, reading the opinions of people long dead, how much hasn’t changed in the past 100 or more years.
Will these sell more than my last “commercial success” for a New York publisher? Who knows! But I’m enjoying providing education and enlightenment in a little different way, regardless of the financial successes of it. I guess that’s another bad habit of mine, but it’s one I actually find joy in.