In my personal experience, twenty-something aspiring writers are good at a few things — avoiding phone conversations, Call of Duty, and making excuses to not write.
I’ve heard some pretty hilarious excuses lately, and I feel the need to address them.
Excuse #1: “All the authors I admire were really old when their books got published. So, I just think I haven’t really lived enough life yet to write something good.”
First of all, LOL. Second of all: Write something really bad. Write really bad stuff for a long, long time. So when you’re George R.R. Martin’s age, you have enough practice under your belt to churn out your own Game of Thrones before you die.
Excuse #2: “I only write when I’m inspired.”
Just, no. This is kind of the same as the first excuse. If you write every day, even when you’re not inspired, then you’re getting better and better, and preparing yourself for that magical moment when inspiration hits.
Excuse #3: “I don’t have anything to write about.”
I really believe that everyone has something of value to say, and everyone has an interesting story. I think people who deny this are afraid of writing, but I definitely don’t believe that they have nothing to write about.
I am not immune to the seduction of a great excuse. I’ve been guilty of using all of these, and only recently started to call myself on it.
My excuses usually begin with the seemingly innocent: “I’ll write as soon as…” then end with:
-”…this rerun of Friends is over.”
-”…I beat this level of Tetris.”
-”…I finish reading this Buzzfeed article about animals that look like celebrities.”
-”…I discover the meaning of life.”
But in actuality, I’m not going to write in any of these situations. No one can watch just one episode of Friends. Once I beat a level of Tetris I must continue onto the next. Buzzfeed articles are surrounded by links to other even COOLER, FUNNIER Buzzfeed articles. And I already know the meaning of life (sorry I can’t tell you).
Excuses are just another way to procrastinate. There’s never an incredibly ideal time to write. And waiting for inspiration is sometimes like waiting for a miracle.
Let’s all just call ourselves on the excuses we make, and instead, put all that energy we use trying to come up with them, into writing something awesome.
What’s the MAIN excuse you tell yourself when you don’t want to write? I want to hear it!