Excuses. Most of us make them at one time or another. I myself make more than my fair share. It’s been easy for me to think that I’ll put off writing a blog because it’s summer. Time for vacation. Time for family. Time to check Facebook one more time rather than write my blog. It’s not that I don’t like to blog. I actually love blogging. But the excuses piled up, and with one life event after another, it was easier to blame something else rather than myself for taking time to blog.
My excuses have run dry. My family vacation and writing conference vacation are over. My children are back in school. And Facebook and Twitter, while wonderful, can do without me for an hour. They’ll be fine. So it’s time for me to reconnect with the part of me that likes to ramble on about subjects I love.
Writing. For years, I made excuses about not writing. I can’t write a book because I don’t know how. I can’t write a book because it’s too hard. I thought of all these characters and stories, but I also thought of all my excuses and used them as crutches. One by one I began to confront my excuses. One by one I knocked them down like bowling pins. I don’t know how? Join a writing organization. Learn from the best in the field. Read craft books. It’s too hard? Life can be hard. I graduated from law school. Once you’ve had Professor S., anything else is a breeze as long as you go into it with your head held up high. I ran out of excuses. I began to write and finished a book. Later I learned about the advantages of RWA and my local chapter. My first critique was an eye opener in that I learned I had a lot to learn, but to my amazement, the published author laughed at something I wrote and put a smiley face next to the words. Encouragement at its best.
Reading. I can’t remember ever not being able to read. When I was a kid, my Aunt Julie and Uncle Ziggy visited from Pennsylvania. Instead of a T-shirt or some souvenir from Pittsburgh, they brought me the latest Trixie Belden book. Was I a lucky kid to have such great relatives or what? All my life I’ve always had a book at my side. Even now, I usually carry my Kindle in my purse so I have a backup book with me. My excuses for not reading don’t involve not having anything to read but time. Oh, I need to check Facebook. Oh, I need to respond to this e-mail. Oh, oh, and more “oh”s. One of my wonderful GRW chapter mates delivered a workshop to us in which she detailed why we shouldn’t look at a computer for a certain amount of time before falling asleep. The color saturation and vibrancy hinder falling asleep. And I thought about it. Sure enough, instead of reading before bed, I’m checking Facebook or tweeting when what I really want to do is simply read my book. I’m still bad about not quitting the computer at a reasonable hour, but I’m trying to read more because I love it: the stories, the characters, the settings. No more excuses about not reading. I read night-night stories to my kids. It’s important to read stories to myself.
Family. Big sigh. I remember when I was six or seven asking my mom to color with me, and she said she had to clean the house. I thought I’d never be that type of mom, but lo and behold, I make excuses here also. I have to fold one more basket of laundry. After I take MJ to Scouts. I’ll be home as soon as I finish editing my chapter. Today they have just all left for school. My oldest is a senior in high school. The twins are entering kindergarten. I know the time flies way too fast. I know there comes a time when Cupcake and Chunk won’t want me to read them bedtime stories. So yes. I’ll be the neighbor with the messy house. So I can watch Curious George with the twins. So I can read them night-night stories. So I can take all of them out for an ice cream cone.
They are all back in school, and it’s time for me to stop making excuses and start writing full time, start reading more, and color with the twins.
Have any excuses held you back from doing something you love? Let me know.