Writers make all kinds of excuses for why they never get any writing done. But there are some excuses writers make more often than others.
You most likely don’t even realize that you’re making these excuses either, because these excuses are often disguised as “good reasons” why you can’t write. You tell yourself that this thing or that thing is stopping you from writing.
What you don’t realize, however, is that you are the only “thing” keeping you from writing.
Here are the top seven excuses writers make for not writing. See if you recognize any in yourself:
1) I’m Too Busy To Write
Most likely you’re making time for non-productive things, like watching TV or surfing the Web. That means you actually do have time to write, you’re just not making it a priority to write.
Action Step: At the beginning of each week, sit down with a calendar and schedule in your writing time. By doing this, you’re making writing a priority, and it’s much more likely you’ll actually get some done.
2) I’m Blocked/I Have Writer’s Block
Being blocked won’t stop you from writing. Refusing to overcome the block will.
Action Step: Start doing Morning Pages. They are the best creative unblocking tool that exists. You can also introduce writing exercises into your life. Writing exercises will jump-start your creativity and get you writing.
3) I Don’t Have Any Ideas
This excuse is similar to the “I’m blocked” excuse. There are millions of things you could write about. You don’t have to find the right thing, you just have to find something and write about it.
4) I Don’t Know What I’m Doing
Truth is, you don’t have to know what you’re doing. You just have to take a chance and write something. Learn as you go. There’s no shame in it.
Action Step: Grab a journal or notebook and sit in a quiet place for 10-15 minutes. Set a timer if you want. Now write non-stop until time is up. Write whatever pops into your head. No judgment. No erasing. Just write.
5) I’m Too Tired To Write
Sounds like you’re saying, “I don’t want to write.” You make time in your day for what you want to do, then at the end of the day, what’s left on your plate can be taken care of later. If you’re too tired to write, then you’re not prioritizing writing over other things.
Action Step: Once again, it’s as easy as scheduling writing into your week. Sit down with your calendar and choose one or two writing sessions (pick a specific day and time). Writing has to be important to you. It’s as simple as that.
6) I’m Too Distracted To Write
Distractions will never go away. If you want to be a writer, you need to learn to work with and around the distractions.
Action Step: Find a quiet place you can spend 30 minutes to an hour writing. Shut off your Internet connection for the entire writing session. Try doing this several times a week until it becomes a habit.
7) I’ll Write Later
You know you won’t write later. If you wanted to write, you’d already be doing so.
Action Step: If you don’t have a writing deadline you need to hit, give yourself a deadline. Pick a specific date, choose a writing project and commit to having that project complete by that date.
All writers make excuses–that’s a given. But if writing is something you want in your life, it has to be important to you. You have to make a commitment to yourself and to getting your writing done.
What excuses do you use for not getting your writing done?
Today’s Challege: Make a list of all the excuses you make for not writing. Now tally how often you make that excuse. Pick the excuse you make most often and figure out how to turn it into an action step.
About the Author: Jennifer Blanchard is founder of Procrastinating Writers, a blog that offers guidance for writers who struggle to get started. She is co-founder of the Better Writing Habits challenge.
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