Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What Excuse Do You Use to Keep From Writing

“I wish I could write that, but I don’t have time.”

I can’t begin to count on my fingers how many times I hear this at book signings or when I’m conducting a writing workshop. How many times have we said these same words to ourselves? How many times have we raced somewhere in the car thinking that when the 24-hour day was invented, God didn’t have our schedules in mind? The fact is, it’s time to face a hard truth--we will always be busy in life. If it’s not one thing, it’s another—the house needs cleaning, the kids need attention, bills need to be paid, a friend/relative is sick, you need to go shopping, laundry needs folding, you need to get ready for a family cookout, the cat still doesn’t understand the concept of a litterbox, and the list goes on and on, but you get the general idea.

If you want to have success as a writer, you must make time. no matter how busy your week is, there will always be a little free time—several hours a week perhaps. And when it comes down to it, you may have to give up things that are important to you, like your favorite TV shows or poker night. Giving up a hobby to make time for writing isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. don’t forget—writing takes time, late nights and hard work. It means rewriting, revisions, brainstorming, interviews, networking, and tons of internet research.

Chances are, you have enough time to write, but you just don’t realize it. Make writing a priority, and you will see positive results.
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Sarah Grimm said...

The excuse I seem to use the most is 'I'll sit down and write once I pick up the house'. Yeah, it doesn't work that way.

I had to learn that the world didn't end if the house wasn't clean when the kids got home from school, after all, five minutes later they'd have it dirty again. :)

Kathy Otten said...

I sit down to write then start checking my email, stopping by blogs and Facebook, etc. I tell myself that it is important to do this, but I end up spending too much time there and don't get any writing done. I'm still trying to find balance.

Loretta C. Rogers said...

Sarah, I've had to learn that my husband won't dry up and blow away if he doesn't get a full course meal at supper time. And Kathy, like you, my biggest procrastination is blogs, emails, etc. I've tried doing all this once per week, but then it stacks up and I have to spend more time cleaning out mailboxes. Sigh--such is the life of a writer. Thanks to both of you for your comments.

Fran Shaff said...

Good post. I find the best way to make time to accomplish something, whether it's writing related or not, is to schedule it--then DO it. :-)

Sandy Cody said...

Like everyone else, I waste time on the internet - checking just one more thing and the time just flies away. It's good to know that I'm not alone.

Elisabeth Rose said...

We're all amazingly good at justifying our actions or lack thereof to ourselves. :) You should hear some of the excuses my music students come up with for not practising. The best one was to a flute teaching friend. "I couldn't practise because we got a hamster." To which she replied "Was he using your flute?"
Adults aren't anywhere near as inventive. LOL

Sandra Leesmith said...

Great post. I should really pay attention to this because I really don't have a good excuse. I just don't do it. I keep thinking I will, but the time slips by and suddenly I realize I haven't written today. yikes.

I think I need to do what Fran suggested and schedule it in. I usually follow my schedule or honeydo list.

And I agree with the many of you who claim the Internet interrupts you. I have learned to set aside a time for that as it is required and necessary but can steal so much time.

Thanks for reminding us not to make excuses.

Loretta C. Rogers said...

Lis--I almost spewed hot tea all over my computer when I read what the flute teacher said to the student. Thanks. I needed a little humor in my life today.

Sandra--If I could just have 25 hrs. a day, I think that one extra hour would help. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

Zelda Benjamin said...

I agree with Fran. I'm more productive when I set a schedule. A set # of hrs to complete X # of pages works best. However, all those time sucking internet things are an addiction.

Carol Hutchens said...

Great post, Loretta!

LOL, Lis. That's one to remember.

My friends can't understand that I treat writing like a job. But even then I get caught up in...THE internet.

I gave up quilting, sewing, cake decoration for the best reason I know...to work on my dream. So, I keep asking myself, why can't I give up the NET?