We've all done it. We have all made as many excuses as there are stars in the skies to get out of writing. We want to be a writer, yes, but we don't want to do the work sometimes. Too bad wanting doesn't pay the bills. To be a writer you must, well, write.
The first step can be the hardest. And that first step is to not make an excuse - to actually sit down and write. No finally deciding to fold the laundry. No raking the yard. None of that. Put those simple tasks aside now and sit yourself down at your desk. Excuses are the things that ruined one too many writing careers. What careers, you ask? Well, I can't name any because they aren't there to name. Get it?
Being a parent offers us so many more excuses than the non-parent. We have little mouths to feed, errands to run, kids to taxi, food to clean off the carpet, etc, etc . . . It becomes so much easier for us to make that extra excuse to not sit down and write that story we wanted to write or work on our novel. We have lunches that have to be made first. Baths come next. Bed-time story... and so on and so on. Finally, well, we are just too tired.
Nonsense! Okay - we get tired and we must sleep. That's a given. But there are all those times we aren't sleeping that we could have been writing. We watched T.V. instead. "Could have wrote one thousand words, but Ally McBeal looked so much better." "E.R. was on so there was just no way to break away." "The kids wanted to stay up and watch RugRats and I just can't resist watching, too." Sound a little familiar? An excuse.
There are legitimate times that you really can't write, but there are many more times you could have. You didn't have to watch three movies back to back. You didn't have to take a two-hour bath. You didn't have to read all day. I know - now it sounds as if I am saying you should stop doing everything you like to do. Wrong. Just cut back. Writing is important to you or you wouldn't be here reading this. I am merely suggesting you cut some self-indulgences in half, freeing up some of that time you may claim you don't have for writing. Life doesn't revolve around you having to write all the time, but it should revolve around it some.
It is just too easy to come up with reasons for not having time to write. Your assignment - Find all the excuses TO write. What makes you love to write? Why is it so important to you? What are your writing goals? How can you better reach them? Write these questions with your own individual answers and then every time you feel yourself making an excuse, pull your assignment out and read it. Next thing you know, you'll be writing more often than making excuses. Better yet, keep the assignment posted somewhere and every time you find yourself giving into excuses, make a list to keep with it. No more excuses!
(c) Angela Giles Klocke