Writers are often commanded to “stop
making excuses” for not writing. You know the drill:
Stop saying you don’t have the time.
Stop saying, “You’ll get to it when …”
Stop wasting your time with less important things.
Start the sacrifice.
Start the schedule.
Find the commitment and discipline to write.
I hear this advice so often, I’ve stopped hearing it. You probably stopped hearing it, too, and have internalized it to the extent that you feel guilty for not following this advice.
Let’s get real for a minute:
We’re all “guilty.” We all waste our time, or don’t have the time, or will “get to it when.”
Must we feel guilty?
The best-selling authors who make a living at this game offer this advice because writing has become a job, and when you work at a job, you stop making excuses and man up. And you tell everyone else to take it seriously, and man up, too.
Today, I tell non-bestselling authors this: You’re living a life where not every moment needs to be defined (or should be defined) by when you next sit down to write.
Our obsession with productivity and achievement has created more angst than is healthy.
It’s time to let go of this need to be “productive” writers, and realize that, if we listen to ourselves closely, watch our actions closely, we know exactly when and how we should write.
Sometimes it’s not RIGHT now. Sometimes it’s 5 years from now. Or 20 years from now. What if you don’t make it that long? That idea shouldn’t bother you if you’re comfortable in your choices.
I was lucky enough to wake up to this a few years ago. (A little more on that here.)
Act with purpose. Be confident in your choices. Bid adieu to commands to stop making excuses.
Truth is, those excuses are important.