The excuses we make to ourselves

Writers are typically a creative bunch and no where are we more creative than with excuses, especial those we make to ourselves.  I am a procrastinator. I always have been.  I tend to drag my feet on a lot of things even if they are things I really want to do.

That is why for me a writing schedule is important. I need the routine. If every morning I wake up, stumble to the shower, to the coffee/tea pot, and then to the computer I am more likely to get things done.  One secret to my routine is that I am not full awake yet so I can’t come up with a good distraction.  Then by the time I am it’s too late, I am already sitting at my computer so it would be a waste of time to get up.

Writing can be hard. It can be fun too, but a good deal of the time it is hard.  I am currently on my second draft of a book I wrote and I have discovered that I don’t like to edit. I don’t like to rewrite. It’s hard. It’s not fun. It is also a bit terrifying.  (Though I am told many people think that editing is the best part. Good for them. Really.  For me it is like being wrapped in rusted barbwire and then given a time limit to escape.)

I am over half way finished with my second draft.  I was excited until I realized I am about two thirds of the way through my original manuscript.  That means I’ve cut so much out of the original that I may no longer have a book, just a really long story.  Panic set in.  Then the excuses for why I can’t work right now started.  Then the distractions…you get the idea. If procrastination was an Olympic sport I would have all the medals.

It is my defense mechanism, how I deal (or not deal) with things when they get hard or scary.  I had to stop, take a deep breath, and then have a nice chat with myself.  (Writers talk to themselves a lot. It’s okay. Your creative not crazy.)  I identified what I was afraid of. ( That maybe my book wasn’t a book.)  Then I talked myself through ways to fix it. (Add bits. Write a second part. Wait until I am all the way done to decided.)

Once it was all laid out it wasn’t so bad and I was able to pick an option and keep writing. (I’m going to wait until I’m done.) Sometimes the biggest obstacle we face is ourselves. We can be our own toughest critic and our own staunchest supporter, often it depends on the day.  However, if writing (or anything else in life) is what you really want to do then you can’t let anyone trip you off your chosen path. Not even you.


Published by: thecoffeefox

Once upon a time there was a woman who was a writer. She was either cursed or blessed from birth to be so and there was much debate on which it was. One day a very discouraging (and not very original) person told her not to give up her day job. The woman smiled and said that was a wonderful idea. Following the unwittingly clever advice of her critic, the woman found a job working nights, which left her days free to write. Even better, the night job had an unusual schedule which packed two weeks worth of work into one, so the writer was able to have every other week off to sit on her front porch, daydream, and of course write. However, working at night and writing during the day left little time for sleep, so the poor writer occasionally went a little mad, but she decided it was an acceptable price to pay to be able to continue following her curse-blessing. Also she likes tea. :)

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