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.



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