Excuses, excuses, excuses

Welcome to my garden. It's nice and toasty in the garden, I love to sit out and enjoy. But don't ask me to weed or do anything. I'm not a gardener. My husband keeps up the flowers and things we enjoy. So for the tip of the week, I'll ask the pro of the household:

If you really don't like getting your hands in the dirt, hire someone.

Why am I all fired up about excuses? Me! I have been using the excuse that I do not have time to write. I have family, I have lots of friends, I work full-time and also the fact I take public transit. When I get home in the evening, I make dinner and then I'm exhausted. The last thing I want to do is write for an hour. Well I do want to write, I just have no brain cells by then.

Let me give you a bit of backstory around 2005 all of our kids had finally left the nest, my husband was making good money and we decided that I would quit my job and write full time. And it was wonderful. I never thought I'd go back to a day job. I would be able to help with grand-kids and write a few hours a day--yeah I know, not full time. Anyway, I was starting to have a bit of following and life was good.

In 2010 my husband was laid off. He was 61 so too early to retire and too old to start a new career. The industry he was in had gone to part time jobs with no insurance. That wasn't going to work for us. He tried for a year and could not find employment so he took early retirement at 62 and I went back to a day job. That's when the excuses started. I think I was just bitter and mad. Not at my husband, but at circumstances.

I know some author's write early in the morning, and my excuse for that was; well I'll be too tired for my day job. Early last week I was frustrated with the fact I wasn't getting any writing done. This wasn't a new dilemma, since I've gone back to work I've been writing in spurts. Writing days at Barnes and Noble with my critique partner, or when my husband is gone golfing on the weekends. Or during my annual writing retreat I do with two author friends. I have been completing a book a year. If I am lucky.

So what brought this new frustration on? Last month I went to the Launch Party reader's event that Brenda Novak threw for her new book and readers. And many of the attendees (readers) were interested in my books. That lit a fire under me. I wanted to write more. I still had the same excuses, but there was one I really couldn't justify. WHY couldn't I get up an hour earlier? A year ago my hours were an hour earlier, so why not get up at that time again?I decided to give it a try. And like magic I've averaged a little over 1000 words a day, during the week. And I've been able to write an hour or two on the weekend. Why? Because I'm excited about my writing again. The more I write the more dedicated I am to finding more time to write.

I hope it continues. I am not going to jinx it by saying I will. I am going to do my best to write everyday before work. And on the weekends if I'm too busy with family or friends or both, I won't have to feel so guilty about it. And the best part, maybe I'll get two books done per year.

What do you use excuses for? What are you doing to overcome those excuses?


Melissa Keir said…
I'm sorry about the circumstances. My husband retired a few years ago and it was hard for us to juggle my full time job and his stay at home. I was working full time as a teacher and writing and running my publishing house and doing the local movie reviews. We found a way to make ends meet without me working full time as a teacher (I guest teach now).

I'm glad you have found a way to make things work for you. We did too. It's been a wonderful couple of years but I do understand that anger, that frustration. Keep at it with the writing!
Mary said…
I hope that I can continue to write and someday have a big break so I can write full time. We still need to pay off the house or I could retire and write full time.

I'm glad you are able to write full time and guest teach!
Unknown said…
Great post, Mary! I hear you about being mad at circumstances. I've been there for a while, as well. What excuses do I have? How much time do you have? I've been known to waste more energy coming up with "valid" excuses than it would take to just do the job and get it over with. My current excuses include health issues and stress. I mean, who can be creative and pithy when they're stressed, right? I've also recently made a new commitment to keeping my nose to the grindstone.
stanalei said…
Go, Mary, Go! You are inspiring!
Mary said…
Thanks for dropping by!

Sherry, it's good to know I'm not the only one on the excuse boat. And you write a lot.

Thanks Stanalei.
Suzanne Spicer said…
I'm glad you're writing when you can. I love your books.

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