Top Excuses for Not Starting or Finishing
Yeah, yeah, I know. Everyone is saying, “Hey, we are on lockdown; now is the time to write that novel, that screenplay, that anthology of poems you’ve been meaning to write. Now is the time! If you don’t do it now, you are lazy and useless!”
Now come on, we don’t have to be that judgemental. Having all this time off is a shock to the system. It takes a bit to wrap one’s head around it. However, it would be a shame to waste it entirely.
So what is holding us back? For some people it is simple laziness. For others it is lack of interest. I respect that. If you’re not interested then you’re not interested.
However, for many of us it is not laziness or lack of interest; it is fear. Fear of not being good enough, not being worthy. And that is why people make up excuses.
- I haven’t got time. I’m too busy with (fill in the blank.)
People are busy, that is true. But if we want to accomplish something we need to prioritize and MAKE time. I love watching Netflix but do I need to binge watch an entire season of Ozark? (Great show, by the way.) No. I can watch an episode and then do some writing.
That’s another thing: you don’t have to do something for two hours or even an hour. Maybe set aside 20 or 30 minutes. Make it reasonable. But make it regular.
2. I haven’t finished planning yet; it’s not perfect.
That is the fear talking. You will never “finish planning”. It will never be perfect. It is impossible. There will always be some other detail to fret over. Set a date and go!
3. I don’t have any ideas.
The painter Chuck Close said, “Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us show up and get to work.”
Waiting for ideas to come is putting the cart before the horse. You need to start working to come up with ideas. Set aside maybe 30 minutes to sit down with the laptop or the pen and paper and write down ideas. Look at what other people have done for inspiration.
4. I tried and it didn’t work.
Welcome to the world of trying new things! Brene Brown had to self-publish her first book; she said that the rejection letters she received would paper a large room. Now she gets paid $200,000 to speak at corporate events.
It’s almost like a war of attrition. The one’s who don’t really want it will drop out; hang in there!
5. I’m not smart enough or creative enough.
Bad teachers and bad parents make kids believe that. It is only true if you believe that. Talent (intelligence, whatever you want to call it) counts for so little it is barely worth mentioning. There are so many “talented” people out there who have done absolutely nothing with it. All there is hard work. There is nothing that beats it.
These points seem pretty obvious; they are more for me than for you.
I cohost a biweekly podcast called The Working Experience. Check it out on iTunes, Spotify and other platforms when you get a chance.