Excuses vs. Reasons

I don’t know what to write about.26889457414_4dcd7726b9

I don’t know the correct way to write. 

My friends might not like it.

It could be a flop.

I don’t have the time.

Last year, I read a book called, Excuses, excuses: Living the Excuse Free Life. It is a religious book, but I think there are some things the author, Peter Lopez, Jr.,, said that might be applied to the discipline of writing.

“He that is good at making excuses is seldom good at anything else.”   Benjamin Franklin

Excuses somehow make us feel good about not being as great as we can be—about living up to our full potential!

But, guess what? Excuses are lies, by definition: An excuse is a lie that you give to explain why you have done something or have not done something that you should have done. 

Excuses: Why We Can’t  

The Excuse of Family: “I would, but my son has a…, my wife wants me to…, my parents…”

The Excuse of Yourself: “I’m just not motivated…knowledgeable…creative…rested…”

The Excuse of other People: Fellow writers or potential readers cast doubt or fear. Fear and doubt are the reasons most people don’t achieve their dreams.

The Excuse of the Past: Failures and insecurities keep your past in front of you, not behind you, where they should be.

The Excuse of ‘I Can’t’: “I’m too young… I’m too old… I just don’t have what it takes.”

While excuses are lies, reasons are truth: a fact, situation, or intention that explains why something happened, why someone did or did not do something, or why something is true.

Reasons: Why We Can:

1)  It is ok to say “no,” if it is the truth. 

“I don’t have the time.”

“I’m too busy.”

“I don’t have the money to do that right now.”

“It’s too far away.”

“I don’t feel like it.”

“No, thank you.”

2) If you set goals that are specific, make sense, are attainable, are relevant, and are time-bound, you will be able to achieve your writing goals.

3) Consider getting a mentor.

4) Use a weekly planner.

5) Make both long term and daily goals. Set priorities.

Remember: Don’t use excuses. They are lies. They are damaging and they poison your future.

Make yourself a NO EXCUSE card. Put it in your wallet or purse. Pull it out and read it every time you feel you are starting to use excuses!!!

No More Excuses!

Okay. So, a dream of mine is owning a “writing” cabin. A place where I can go to be alone, without distractions, and just write.

A fellow writer recently announced that she and her husband just purchased, and have already moved to, just such a place. I am so excited for her!

But, for myself, I am not quite able to do that just yet.

So what is a writer to do?

Well, my husband rented us a home for two weeks on the Washington coast—high on a bluff, overlooking the ocean—a dream of mine come true.

I will write. He will fish with his buddies. Life doesn’t get much better than that!

But, let’s bring this discussion back into perspective. Crank it down a notch or two.

The point is this: writers need a place to write, set apart from the noise and activity that abounds at home. If you can afford to buy a cabin—wonderful! If you can rent one for a short period and immerse yourself in writing—fantastic.

If neither of these is plausible, at this point, just opt for a bedroom you can convert into an office, or a separate bedroom with a desk—and a lock on the door…someplace with relative peace and quiet that you can utilize to separate yourself from daily life…a place where you can immerse yourself into the “world” you are creating in your book…a place where your characters come alive and speak to you…a place where you can thrive as an author.

If these aren’t options for you, then consider blocks of time when your family is not at home and you can write without annoying distractions…a time when the house is quiet and you can write—type—pace—talk out loud—whatever you need to do to move forward with your writing.

You may have to schedule available time by enrolling your children in sports or a Parks and Recreation class, etc. It may require a monetary, as well as a time, commitment.

I have a friend who finds Starbucks a great place to write…

But, listen, in all seriousness, doesn’t everything that is important, require a sacrifice of some sort?

So, no more excuses not to write.

Be creative. Find what works best for you. Take a trip to your favorite office supply store and buy what you need and then get back home and get to it.

No more saying, “I don’t have time to write.”

No more saying, “I don’t have a place to write.”

No more excuses.