As I write a novel, I come up with numerous excuses why I can’t possibly get up before 5am and write…even if it is just for 15 minutes. I decided to share some of these excuses in an attempt to defuse their usage.
1. I’m too tired. I say this a lot. The work week is hectic. But, if I can ignore this persuasive argument, I always feel so much better after creating. The world is brighter, my attitude is lighter and I am suddenly not so drained. Fight fatigue with creativity, sounds good to me!
2. I’m too busy. Jobs and life always gets in the way, so the “busy” button is an easy one to push. My defense is to remind myself that, when I do have time, I find distractions like movies, reading, sitting on the porch admiring a sunset, etc. In other words, if the incentive isn’t there, then I can have all the time and still not write.
3. Everything I write is coming out horrible. It’s frustrating when the words don’t seem to flow. I think it is even more demotivating because, as a writer, it is supposed to come naturally. The blank page shouldn’t frighten me. But, especially after long absences, the words come stifled. I could write a sentence and think it is the worst sentence I have ever written. The key is to continue and I will eventually find my groove. And, when that happens, I can always go back to edit.
4. I am stuck. This is the biggest reason I encounter writer’s block as well as the biggest reason I hear people don’t finish their work. My philosophy? Power through. Writing, on many levels, is not easy. If it was, then everyone would be cranking out novels. It’s hard to finish a book, especially in the middle when critical plot turns begin to demand attention. But, if I can work my way out of the plot issue, then the reward is well worth the tears and frustration I had to endure.
5. I don’t know what to write about. Recently, I have been inundated with the philosophy that writers need compelling characters to write a novel. If the characters are strong, then the plot will just develop itself. I think this is overly simplistic, but there is some truth to it. Follow the characters and see where they lead. The first few chapters may need to be cut later, but at least it’s a starting point. If characters don’t exist, then there are plenty of prompt books. It won’t have to do with a particular novel, but at least it’ll involve writing.
The number one advice I heard time and time again as I pursued publication was to just write. I think all of the ways out of these excuses adds up to that advice. Just write. Because you have to. Because it makes you happy. Because it is who you are. Just write.