There are hundreds of reasons I come up with to not write.
Here’s a sampling:
- No one will read this.
- This isn’t a real job.
- There are so many writers who are better than I am.
- I have other things I should probably focus on.
- It’s all been said before.
I could go on but I think you get the idea.
I am a professional when it comes to excuses. I guess it is good that I admit it? I am trying to break the habit of making excuses. I may need a 12-Step Program. However, I have a feeling that I am not alone. Do you make excuses too? I don’t know about you, but I am tiring of the excuse-making mill. They just keep getting more lame. Is there anything more annoying than a lame excuse?
Let’s just stop. Let’s just agree to do it together. No more excuses.
Let’s write just for the sake of writing. Write because the words must get out and onto the screen. Write because you want to capture the moment. Pen words to make sense of the crazy and the daily. Write for the joy of it. Write because the story won’t leave you alone. Write to capture beauty. Ponder with pencil to paper. Grapple with the grief as the words flow and the chapters grow.
Writing is a song that we sing, music we play, art we type. The thoughts, stories, and passions that reside in us lie dormant within us if we continue to make excuses and our words will never be written.
What if your song is never sung, your music never heard, your art never created? Who is the one cheated?
The author. That’s me and you.
I am not a big fan of cheating myself. I mean, I don’t know if I can live with that. That’s what excuses do though. They steal from us; steal words so that they don’t meet the page. Excuses steal dreams, passion, vision, and creativity and render us unproductive. They are sneaky bandits, and it is time they are caught.
So let’s agree to capture this band of thieves and end their work of robbing us of our words. Write. Join a writing group. Mark off time in your calendar to write. Go to a writing workshop. Write as if it is actually as important as paying the bills or making dinner. Write as though you are a world renowned author whose words matter — because your words do matter.
Write so you forget the excuses.
What if no one reads what you write?
The answer to this question bears nothing on whether or not you write. If you write because you must, because the words must be written, then if two people read them or 500,000 read them, does not change whether or not you write them.
You write because you must, so your song does not go unsung. You write so your music is heard, to create a masterpiece.
What happens if we write? We won’t have the answer to that if we don’t just begin. Pen to paper. Fingertips to keyboard. No excuses.
You can read more from Bethany Howard at bethanyhoward.com. She writes about finding fuel for joy and growth in the details of the daily. Her greatest leadership exercise has been her roles as wife and mom to three. She is a graduate of Leverage: The Speaker Conference.