Excuses

I love writing. I love falling headfirst into a story and only seeing the words materializing on the screen in front of me. I get way too involved in my character’s lives. Their world and their problems fill my attention for hours. I don’t want to leave the keyboard once I get rolling.

The problem is often getting started.

I’m the Queen of Excuses. I have whole warehouse full of them that I can pull out at a moment’s notice. None of them are really good, and I’ll readily admit that. They’re paper thin in more often than not. Here’s just an example of my more readily used ones.

1. I don’t have enough time
I only have an hour and a half between the time I get home from work until I need to take a shower and settle in for bed. I have to stuff family time, dinner, laundry, and taking care of the dog into that time. The reality of the situation is that I really do have more than enough time to write. I just need to get off Facebook and get on Write or Die for fifteen minutes.

2. I don’t know what to write
I’m working on two novels at the moment, and both demand my attention. I can see the end of “King’s Shadow,” and I could probably reach out and touch it if I tried. “Avignon,” on the other hand, has barely cracked ten thousand words; I know it’ll fade into obscurity if I don’t keep up the momentum. Five hundred words a night in each–just thirty minutes on Write or Die–would solve that problem.

3. I don’t like the scene I’m writing
I’ve been working on one scene for so long that I’ve forgotten why I thought it was important in the first place. I dread sitting down at the keyboard. I just haven’t gotten anywhere the end of the scene, and it feels like it’ll never end. The simple solution is for me to skip ahead and leave the scene hanging. I can always fix it in another draft.

4. I don’t know where to start
There’s a Civil War Memorial Day piece I’ve been trying to write for the past month and a half. All the research is done. I know as much as I’m going to know about the soldier. But I just don’t know how to start the article. Should I begin with Memorial Day’s connection to the Civil War? Or should I write about how the soldier eventually came home? I really just need to write and polish those first few sentences later during revision.

5. I need time to unwind from work
I’ve been working all day, and my whole being has been focused on my job since I woke up at five and got home just after five thirty. I need time to just relax, to let my body just flop down on the couch as I watch mindless TV. That’s how I get my mind to recharge. However, I always curse myself when bedtime comes around and I haven’t gotten anything written. So instead, I just need to bite the bullet and get on Write or Die. Those word counts in my day planner always make me feel accomplished.

Do you have any go-to excuses when you’re supposed to be writing? How do you get over them?

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