Skip to main content

Today's Excuse: I can't write NOW, I have to (insert excuse here)

We're all guilty: We've put off our writing because of more "pressing" matters. After all, if we don't get done with X, we wouldn't be able to concentrate on our writing anyway. It's better to have our minds clear. So, we'll sit right down and start writing as soon as X is done, and of course Y, and, while we're at it, might as well finish Z...

ZZZ. The next thing you know, you're wiped out from all of your non-writing tasks, and there's nothing left for your writing. You rationalize: It couldn't be helped, I had stuff to do...

Excuse Editor's Tip:
Instead of making excuses for not writing, make writing your excuse.

Of course there are things that really must get done. I'm not advocating locking yourself in a room and leaving your responsibilities totally behind. I don't want to get emails from "writing widows" missing their significant others. However, if you've been struggling to get to your writing because of X,Y, Z or a combination of them all, you must re-frame the excuses to make writing a priority in your life.

The Excuse:
I can't write NOW, I have a sink full of dirty dishes!
The Edit:
I can't do those dishes NOW, I have to write for thirty minutes!
These smaller blocks of time will get you in the habit of allowing yourself to write, instead of trying to choose what is more crucial. Neither has to suffer, but when you start thinking of your writing as something that MUST be done, it will take as much urgency as your mundane chores. Why not do the fun stuff--your writing-- first?

The Excuse:
I won't have time to write tomorrow, I'm hanging out with my friends.
The Edit:
I'll meet up with my friends after I'm met tomorrow's writing goals, even if I have to wake up a bit earlier or postpone catching up with my TIVO.
By scheduling your writing time with your other recreational activities, you'll begin to view it like any other planned recreational activity. Would a golfer give up golfing just because she had to schedule a tee- time?

Your writing is just as important as doing housework; it cleans the cobwebs from your mind and freshens your spirit.
Your writing is just as important as spending time with friends and family; it cultivates relationships with your characters and enriches your life experience.
A few other helpful sources:
Time to Write: Professional writers reveal how to fit writing into your busy life
Write the Whole time, no matter how little of it you have: Check out Write or Die!
Write Is a Verb: Sit Down, Start Writing, No Excuses

What happens when you put your writing at the top of your priorities, even for a few minutes a day? Are you pleased with your progress? Are you surprised your house didn't get swept up in chaos because you pulled out the pens before the pans?



Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Experience

The popularity of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books is beyond extraordinary. What started out as a multi- rejected book idea has turned into a multi-million dollar book empire. More than 110 million Chicken Soup for the Soul books have been sold. Many of the books have been translated to 40 different languages. I'm proud that my personal essays have been included in some of these books, and I hope to continue being a Chicken Soup contributor.
My Story
I thought I would share a bit about being published in these collections. I'm very happy with my Chicken Soup experiences, and part of that may be that I went into it with little expectations at first. I started with them because I had a few stories that seemed to fit what they were looking for, and I thought I had nothing to lose. Unlike some of the other markets and contests I was looking at, submitting to Chicken Soup could be done at no cost to me, and I didn't even need to worry about a postage stamp, because they had a…

All the Right Ingredients to Writing Advice

Last time, I talked about people in our lives that are pretty sure they know how to be successful writers, because they spent much of their time reading. Sometimes their advice can be a blessing, sometimes just the opposite. It is the same with the plethora of advice available from other writers. Have you checked out almost every book about the writing process from your local library at one time or another? Are your shelves lined with your own copies of "the-perfect-writing-advice-that-will-get-me-published-once-and-for-all"? Are you a member of multiple online writing communities? Do you hold your breath just a little bit when waiting from the critique from that "certain someone" in your writing group?

Yeah. Me too. And I don't think that gaining knowledge is a bad thing. We just have to be careful.

Don't Let Too Many Cooks Create a Recipe for Disaster
I love great food, I savor the tastes and textures of all kinds of cuisine; but unless I have specific, de…

Why Ghostwriting? Guest Post by Kelly James-Enger

Is it Time to Disappear?  Why I Became a Ghost--and Why you Should, Too
I never intended to become a ghostwriter. After all, why would I spend months of my life toiling away on someone else’s book? No thanks. I only wanted to write my own books, and that’s what I did.
I soon found, however, that the life of a book author wasn’t quite what I’d envisioned. I was working long hours, yet making less money than I had before, when I wrote only articles. The reason was simple—the time I spent promoting my books left me less time to write articles and other books, which cut into my income.
            Fortunately for me, I was approached by a nutrition expert about coauthoring her book. I found I enjoyed collaborating with her, but the real payoff came when we finished the manuscript. As the author, she now had to start promoting it—but I was all done!
That was enough for me. I decided to pursue coauthoring and ghostwriting, and “my” next book was ghostwritten for a client. (Typically a “coau…