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Excuses, Excuses, Excuses!

 In my efforts to procrastinate this week, I came across a book by Jack Bickham.  “The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)”.  Chapter one is titled “Don’t Make Excuses..”  Gulp.  This hits home with me on so many levels.  “Writers write; everyone else makes excuses.”  Well, that means if I’m a writer I must write.  I’ve been doing pretty good with this.  Or I should say, I was until my son broke his arm.  It doesn’t take much to throw me off course and let me tell you, it’s like trying to get my son to understand why he can’t ride a freaking skateboard with a broken arm to get back into the swing of things afterward.

Let’s see.  A few of my excuses for not sitting down and finishing the chapter I’m working on were:

Grocery shopping, Hair appointment, Kids homework and projects, Cleaning house, Doing laundry, Husband leaving for Phoenix, AZ, Meeting with Writing Buds, Winterguard Competition, Trying to learn html codes so I can update my chapter’s website (Lots of time can be wasted on this!  Especially when you have no idea what your doing! LOL)

Okay, as you look over my list I know you’re thinking, “None of these things should have taken all day.”  And you are so right.  I have no idea what I did with the rest of my time, but I found plenty to do so I could avoid what I love doing the most.  I think the procrastination this time is because I’ve almost reached the end of the book I’m working on.  I only need three more chapters.  Yeah!

No.  Major road block.  What am I afraid of?  Hmmm.  Getting to the end means I must start working on a pitch, query and synopsis.  That means I have to start sending out my work in order to catch the attention of an editor or agent.  Sure, no pressure there, right?  LOL

So, tell me I’m not alone.  Please! If you are a writer, what excuse or excuses have you used to avoid sitting in that chair and whacking away at those keys? Or if you have another passion, what keeps you from doing what you love most?

Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.  ~Robert Benchley 🙂

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16 Responses

  1. One of my problems is seeing all the things I need to do around the house…look at all the dog hair – vacuum. Dirty dishes–must wash. Unmade bed…dirty clothes. I need to learn how to become blind to these things and just wait.

    Other problem – husband. He is such a distraction. My plan was to write today. He just asked me if I wanted to drive to Orlando and try on cowboy boots. How do I say no to that!

  2. I do the same thing, Cyndi! And good luck today, with the writing. I’d pick the trip to Orlando to try on the boots too! 🙂 LOL

  3. I’m reading your blog and thinking of some witty comment to leave instead of writing. 😉

  4. Mine is the house and what needs to get done. I sit at the computer and write for 20 minutes or so ane then get up and work in the house (or whatever) for an hour, then back to the computer and do the same thing again. This is on the weekends.

    On the week nights, it’s write until I’m stuck, then check email. And of course the past few weeks have been no computer at night since I’ve been working 10 hour days.

    Still none of those really work for an excuse. At least Cyndi got to try on new boots. 😀

  5. Making a list helps me, but maybe someone else should make the list for me. Dishes are done but should I rearrange furniture or go to the gym? Or combine the two as one by lifting the furniture several times. What I need to do focus on what ‘needs’ to be done and not what I ‘want’ to be done. No looking out the windows trying to see what the neighbor is doing. 🙂

    Well, I guess I’ll go to the coffee shop with my list and prioritize my ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ list. Oh while I’m there, I’ll check my Facebook, and email, and …

  6. “I’m sleepy”

    Yep, that pretty much does it for me. I can procrastinate the dishes/laundry/cleaning, but I can’t put off a nap when the yawn starts calling.

  7. This morning I got up, got the kids off, picked up the house for the maid to come (irony), fed the animals, checked my email, did payroll at my husband’s office, met friend at Starbucks, wrote four pages on synopsis, checked email, worked out, ate lunch, checked email.

    Now I’m heading out the door to go to the grocery store, pick up the kids, take them to b-ball practice, unload groceries, meet my friend to walk, fix dinner, yell at kids to do homework, then sit down to write.

    Sound like everyone else’s day? And I don’t even have a job!

  8. Life does get in the way, but at times things don’t get done because I’m lazy.

  9. I am the QUEEN of procrastination! I know what you mean, Melissa. I FINALLY started writing last week after I waited almost two months! One thing that will cause you to procrastinate is lots of stress.

    That’s what my case has been, and that’s why I have procrastinated. However, when I got rid of the problem which was causing me stress- I am able to concentrate and write now! Am I feel so much more at ease. So, when you find that something is stressing you out and you are procrastinating, it’s always best to somehow let the cause of it go. 😉 Or if you can’t, find ways to somehow ease the stress.

  10. LOL! Now get back to work, Jenn!! 🙂

  11. 10 hour days, Vicki! I hope things slow down for you so you can get that writing worked in. And I like your routine. I might actually get stuff done!

  12. Terri, you make a great point! What I need to do is focus. Now I can procrastinate today and try and figure out just how to do that. LOL

    And if you’re watching your neighbors, be sure to take notes. It’s great research. 🙂

  13. Liz, this sounds so familiar! LOL Especially the yelling at the kids to do their homework part. 🙂 There really needs to be more hours in a day!

  14. Sleep is good for you, right Keri! I never pass up a chance to take a nap. Don’t get those precious moments often, but they are heaven. 🙂

  15. I have to laugh, Jane. 🙂 I think the word lazy could actually replace procrastination. LOL Or maybe even control. I love being in control and what better way to show who’s the boss than to say “I’ll do it later.”

  16. Yep, stress is at the root of so many things isn’t, Jamie. “Just let it go.” Great words to live by. 🙂

    So glad you’re back to writing again!

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