Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Your Excuses May Vary

As writers—heck, as people in general—we have things we'd like to accomplish. Write a new novel. Start querying. Revise an old novel. Complete edits before a deadline.

So we set goals. We post them in places like the Writing Odometer at AgentQuery Connect. We round up Twitter friends for a high-motivation Word War or #1k1hr. Public declaration of our goals and intentions can help us follow-through.

Sometimes we stay on track and celebrate. Sometimes we don't, and then we might publicly confess the cause of our demise.

Sometimes we have really good reasons. Sometimes we're just making excuses. Sometimes it's somewhere in-between and can be hard to tell whether we're being too hard on ourselves ... or not hard enough.

My excuses may not be your excuses. I don't have kids and/or a husband to take up time, which can make me think, "Why am I not getting things done?" Then again, some of you may not have a day job outside of writing and wonder the same. Some of you have both, or other things getting in the way that I can't even imagine.

Those things are pretty valid, I think. There are only so many hours in the day, and only so much we can pack in before our neurons explode. It's okay to cut ourselves some slack, especially since beating ourselves up doesn't actually get much done.

Then again, there are also plenty of times I think, "Just one little round of this mind-numbing game to decompress from school," and it turns into an hour or two I could've used to get something done. Yes, taking a break to relieve stress is important, but I know from experience that falling behind on things that need to be done only creates more stress.

I think my own goal for now is not to fall back on my good reasons so much that they become lame excuses.

Your excuses, of course, may vary.

1 comment:

Janeal Falor said...

Ah yes, I'm so great at lame excuses. Especially the mind-numbing break games that morph into an hour instead of ten minutes. Sounds like a good goal though. good luck with it!