1. My muse has deserted me.
2. There's too much noise.
3. I can't find the right music for my story's soundtrack.
4. My kids need me.
5. My husband needs me.
6. There's something on t.v. I've been meaning to watch.
7. This book I'm reading is too good to put down.
8. I'm not published yet, so it's not like an editor is waiting for this.
9. Laundry is piling up.
10. I'm blocked, my characters have stopped speaking to me, and I don't know what's going to happen next.
11. I need to get this new idea down first.
12. I don't feel like it.
13. I can write tomorrow.
1. There is no muse. Writing happens when you sit down and WRITE. (And if you're one of those diehards who insists you have a muse, fine. Grab her by the hair, drag her over to your keyboard and chain the wench down. She can't leave if you don't let her. She'll stop whining after a while, trust me.)
2. So go somewhere quiet. This isn't brain surgery.
3. I'm sorry, I didn't realize this was going straight to the big screen. This isn't Hollywood and you're not Nora Ephron. Quit fooling around and write.
4. & 5. Really? Are they bleeding anywhere? Is the house on fire? Are they trying to get your attention because New York is on the phone? No? Then I think it's safe to write.
6. Ever heard of TiVo, DVR or a VCR? Figure out how to use one and get back to your laptop. You can watch t.v. when your pages are done.
7. Find a bookmark and thank your lucky stars that author found the time and gumption to do what you ought to be doing.
8. You're right. Why plan for the future? Why treat your writing like a career? Why? Because if you don't, it will always just be a hobby. And hobbyist don't make the best-seller lists.
9. So throw a load in and write a page. Laundry doesn't need your assistance once the machine starts. Make your kids/husband/mother-in-law fold.
10. Try some free-writing about why you're blocked. Let your characters take the lead and show you the way off-screen. They may open up to you and direct your next scene if you give them some room away from the manuscript. Interview them, ask them questions. Brainstorm with a writing buddy. There is always a way to get unblocked and start writing again.
11. I totally agree. Sometimes new ideas make such pests of themselves they have to be written out of your brain enough for you to concentrate on the work at hand. Do it. Then get back to your WIP.
12. And your point is?
13. Sure. And the check's in the mail. But I bet it's going to a writer who wrote today.
Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure. ~Don Wilder
Don't make excuses - make good. ~Elbert Hubbard
If you don't want to do something, one excuse is as good as another. ~Yiddish Proverb
He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else. ~Benjamin Franklin
No one ever excused his way to success. ~Dave Del Dotto
For many people, an excuse is better than an achievement because an achievement, no matter how great, leaves you having to prove yourself again in the future but an excuse can last for life. ~Eric Hoffer
I attribute my success to this - I never gave or took any excuse. ~Florence Nightingale
People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them. ~George Bernard Shaw
Niney-nine percent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses. ~George W. Carver
Saturday, September 02, 2006