Excuses. I seem to know a lot of people who make endless excuses. I’m not saying I’ve never made excuses - I can be a terrible procrastinator, although I’ve gotten much better about that in the last few months out of necessity. The occasional excuse is understandable - I think it's even natural - but it’s the people who have excuses for everything that get on my absolute last nerve.
These are some of the most common excuses I’ve heard when it comes to writing, along with my responses (even though the responses are usually in my head rather than actually said out loud, haha):
Excuse: I don’t have time to write.
My response: But you have time to play for hours on Twitter and Facebook and watch hours of TV or movies. If you can do that, you can make time to write. Get up an hour earlier, stay up an hour later, write on your lunch break, stay away from the internet for an hour. If you really want to write, you'll make the time.
Excuse: I have so many ideas, I don’t know where to start.
My response: PICK ONE. Draw from a hat, write them down and point to the piece of paper, do eenie-miney-miny-mo, just pick one and go with it. Which one is sticking out most in your mind? Which one are you really itching to start? The other ideas can wait, and you can always jot down ideas for other stories while you're working on the main one you chose.
Excuse: My computer’s not working.
My response: There are these magical little things called paper and pen. People used them for thousands of years before computers were invented, you can use them for a couple of days. Next.
Excuse: This just isn't the right time.
My response: When will it be the right time? When the moon is full? When the weather is better? When the sky turns purple and pigs fly? If not now, when? Now is all we're guaranteed.
Excuse: I’m too scared.
My response: Good. If you’re not scared, you’re doing something wrong. Writing is scary - it’s pouring your heart and soul onto paper and putting it out there for people to judge. The first writing you do may be terrible, but you’ll get better. But you’ll never have the chance to get better if you never even start.
If you can’t stop making excuses, maybe you need to reevaluate - your priorities, your passions, whatever. Writers are notorious for being procrastinators, but there’s a difference between procrastinating for a bit and then getting to it and working hard, and procrastinating to the point that you never get anything done.
Do you make excuses? Do some of my examples sound familiar (either you've said them or heard someone say them)? Would you agree that there's a deeper issue when someone makes constant excuses about something?