Here’s the deal. I want to be a writer. I really do. Always have, probably always will.
Even more, I want to be an author. Like, a real published author. With books and stuff.
But here’s the thing: I can’t do it. I just can’t. And I have all the excuses for why I’ll never make it.Here are a few:
1. I’m too busy; I just don’t have the time to write.
Okay. Actually, that’s a lie. I do have time, but I don’t put my writing first. I have the time, but writing just doesn’t matter as much as… the Facebook news feed? That new game on my phone? Netflix?
2. Well, actually, it’s a problem with my process, I guess. I just can’t finish my story. I never finish anything I start.
Well, I don’t know if this is a problem with my process or my personality, but it’s also full of crap. I finished papers for school, yeah? I get projects done for work. I managed to run a 5K once.
So I can finish, if I put my mind to it. Again, it’s a matter of priority and commitment.
Well, if that excuse doesn’t work…
3. I am so over this story. I’m stuck waffling around in the middle… or I can’t find an end to round things out.
Well, now. That’s a manageable excuse. There are plenty of ways to fix that. Throw a wrench in the plotline. Look up some story prompts. Take a walk. Ride a bus with some strangers.
Look at the world differently. Volunteer. Find fuel for creativity. I could do any of these things. I am not yet so old and boring that my creativity genes are defunct.
Rusty, maybe, but not broken, and always regenerative.
4. Actually, I’m the problem: I’m too boring. Nobody’s going to read this stuff.
There was a time when this story seemed worth telling, yeah? Otherwise, why would I have begun?
What changed? Have I lost my passion for the story? Has my story lost its value somehow?
Or, is it somewhere in me? Do I hold myself as someone with worth and value? Have nay-sayers gotten under my skin? What’s going on in the rest of my life?
Chances are, it’s either all in my head, or I’m too busy worrying about what other people think about me. And if that’s the case, there’s an easy enough fix for that:
Creativity has merit outside of its market value. I can write for whatever reason I darn well please. Personal reflection? Sure. Artistic doodling? Why not. Just for fun? Absolutely.
Who cares if people read it? Well, maybe me. Just a little. Okay, maybe a lot. I think that people are more forgiving than I give them credit for. Maybe my niche is narrow, but there are 7 billion people on this planet; at least one of them has to find my writing worthwhile.
And maybe, it’s worth it to write for that one person.
5. I can’t keep up. There’s so much to do, with editing and publishing and marketing… it’s better that I stop while I’m ahead, so I don’t waste my time (or anyone else’s).
Here’s what this excuse is saying, in essence: I’m not afraid to fail. I’m afraid of hard work, or worse, I’m afraid I’ll actually succeed. I’m not sure if I’m ready to change my life.
Or that quote I love so much: What if I fail?… Bur darling, what if you fly?
Find hope in the stars. Find hope in the mountains. Find hope in the ones you love. It is there that true beauty resides. And beauty is always worth the time and the effort.
And on the matter of time? See excuse #1, and why it failed.
It all boils down to this: write. Write like your life, or someone else’s life, depends on it. Because maybe, it does.
Maybe yours is the story that gives hope and happiness and joy to even just one person.
And if it does that, it is surely worth it.
It’s worth every word.
It’s worth every letter.
What about you? Do you give any of these excuses? How do you combat them? Where are you hoping to make a change this year?
How is your writing changing you?