By Dana Diamond
Excuses are like…well, you knowâ€¦everybody has one and they all stink. Need I say more?
I have many, in factâ€¦excuses, that is.
Iâ€™ll list them, not to make excuses, but, rather, to show you that I have them should I choose to use them…and so you know Iâ€™m not some â€œprincessâ€ with a housekeeper eating bon bons, lunching with ladies whoâ€¦lunch, lounging by the pool, exercising when I feel like it and writing when inspiration strikes.
In addition to my day job (that’s really a 24/7 job) and family obligations, this year, Iâ€™m taking on a lot of new challenges:
– Secretary of Orange Countyâ€™s chapter of RWA
– Writing a monthly article for Orange Blossom
– Weekly blog articles (for your viewing pleasure)
– Contributor to The Writerâ€™s Vibe
And those are just the new professional challenges. Iâ€™m also killinâ€™ myself on the treadmill every night after a full day of work, trying to rid myself of the muffin-top I acquired this holiday season. (Iâ€™m not vain, well, okay, Iâ€™m a little vain. But itâ€™s also for health reasons and, frankly, I like being able to buy my clothes in the kids section. Itâ€™s cheaper.)
Anyway, on top of those new challenges Iâ€™ve added another book a year to my schedule. Soâ€¦every single thing I listed keeps me from my goal of writing two books this year (instead of the one I wrote last year).
Still, I write. And Iâ€™m on track to finish.
So, I challenge you to stop making excuses. Iâ€™ll even help. Hereâ€™s a list of excuses and ways to combat them. I give you Danaâ€™s Reasons Why Notâ€¦
1. My back hurts – Take an aspirin and get a heating pad.
2. My wrists hurt – Get iVoice or Dragon Naturally Speaking
3. My eyes hurt – Get some glasses or the above mentioned voice programs
4. I have to work – Write at lunch
5. I have kids – Write during naps and/or school.
6. I have to clean my house – Boring women keep clean houses.
7. School, kids, and work â€“ Write one page a day. (Anybody can do that!)
8. Aliens abducted me â€“ Surely they have a recording device you can speak into!
9. Stuck in traffic â€“ Get a digital voice recorder and transcribe your work on weekends
10. I have stomach flu â€“ This one may fly, but I admit, I once actually considered dragging my laptop onto the bathroom floor with me so I could write in between retch sessions.
11. I have a computer job and am too tired of looking at a computer in the evenings and on weekends. â€“ Write longhand.
12. I have ten kids and a husband who doesnâ€™t support me. â€“ Divorce him and put your older kids to work for you. (Okay, for the record, Iâ€™m not in that position and that does seem harshâ€¦even to my heartless soul.)
13. Iâ€™m exhausted â€“ Leave youâ€™re laptop on all night and write until you fall asleep and resume when you wake up at 4 a.m. (What? You donâ€™t do that already?)
14. Iâ€™m training for the Olympics â€“ An hour a day, thatâ€™s all I ask.
15. But Iâ€™m Michelle Kwan â€“ Youâ€™re going to win anyway!
Now I ask you, what are your Reasons Why Not? If you post them, I’ll help you beat them.
PS I wrote this last night. Today, I was chatting with my mentor about when I was going to get back to my YA that sheâ€™s been reading along as I write and was left dangling for a few weeks now. (Oh, the shame.) The storyâ€™s suspenseful and I’m leaving her on cliff-hangers, so sheâ€™s, understandably, a little ticked.
So, I give you a few new excusesâ€¦and how my mentor shot them down for me. (Oh, the hypocrisy!)
Mentor â€“ â€œWhen am I going to see that next chapter?â€
Me â€“ â€œI have to finish the final copy of the interview I just did, and then I need to transcribe the minutes from the board meeting this weekend, and then I have a critique project, but Iâ€™ll probably finish that by the end of this week and then Iâ€™ll—â€
Mentor â€“ â€œDana, you can do one page a day.â€
(Dude, I hate it when sheâ€™s right! Love you, Mentor!)
PPS I am still on track, damnit!
Thanks Gillian, but I don’t know how wise I am…After writing my comment, I realized Mary was talking about my mentor! How embarrassing! 🙂
But I love it when someone more experienced and wiser than me (ahem…you!) shares her precious time and wisdom with me. Thank you.
And good luck with the page a day!
Dana-oh-wise-one, I hate it when someone who is wiser than me is also YOUNGER than me. 😉 Great blog! Your work ethic puts me to shame. My new mantra: “I will write one page a day.”
I love when someone wiser than me thinks I’m wise. 😉
I hate when someone wiser than me shoots down my excuses … fudgesicle!
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