In keeping with the suggestion I made for myself in my post, “In The Numbers”, I am going to go over the 4 excuses that Dean Wesley Smith listed in his own article that inspired the aforementioned post.
In this post, I’ll go over some extra stuff, excuses that I use as Dean says: “And on and on and on… Pick a myth…”
Oh, there’s plenty. Let’s start with the infamous Writer’s Block.
“I have writer’s block.” I dealt with that in a previous post because the argument is that it isn’t a real thing. I differ on that opinion. It is a real thing, whether the reason for it is foolish or legitimate. Again, I cover it a little more in depth, but the fact is that some people suffer from it more than others. I liken it to the anxiety of a test spiking to a point where everything goes blank. Like I asserted before, it can be solved by purposeful writing, so in a way, it isn’t an excuse.
“I don’t have time!” Time Management is another excuse. And granted, in reality, everything is time management. It’s the “I can’t find time to write.” To that, the entire post that Dean made really tackles that. He explains that it only takes roughly 15 minutes to write. To that point, I would say to work on time first and not word count. If you only get 50 words, that’s still 50 more words than you had before. Fifteen minutes is a reasonable point of time, but the other thing that I’ve talked about before is to make a sacrifice, such as not watching a show or wake up earlier or stay up later or give up playing a game. Figure out how important writing is and then make the time.
“Nothing I write is good!” According to whom? This topic has been tackled frequently, most recently for me in the post “Can Good Write Me?”. Good is subjective. And if we’re honest, if we are continuing to improve as a writer, than it is a good chance that you will always be negative when reflecting on what was written prior. And then there is the revision/editing phase. That is an opportunity to clean it up, just don’t get caught up in that phase.
“Nobody will buy what I write.” And that’s a reason to be a writer? Don’t we write because we love it?
“I’d rather be doing X.” Well, if that’s the case and you can do X, then why are you complaining about not writing?
“I keep getting distracted.” That’s a problem no matter what. Here, there’s the choice to either use tools to help you focus or there’s the option to do as Nir Eyel suggests and try to figure out the reason you are getting distracted. In fact, he wrote a whole book on how to stop being distracted.
“I don’t want to write.” Why are you even here?
“Who are you and why are you talking to me?” I have no idea.
“Writing is too hard.” Yes, writing is hard. I struggle with it every day. The question here then that one must ask is whether it is worth it. There’s a quote in “A League Of Their Own” where Tom Hanks’ character Jimmy Dugan says to Dottie: “Of course it’s hard. It’s supposed to be hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. Hard is what makes it great.” Think about that. Being a writer is something we do because we love to write, not because it is something easy to do. So just write.