Monday, January 21, 2013

Excuses, Excuses

By Pamela

Lance Armstrong photo by JoeMac1.
For two evenings this week, the television at our home was set to the OWN channel and, intermittently, I watched Lance Armstrong's three-hour attempt to come clean, so to speak. To set the record straight, to admit to cheating, lying, doping, bullying, etc. while I wondered if it's possible to ever really believe someone who has made millions and millions of dollars off his foibles. He had excuses, of course. Among the most common was: everyone else was doing it. I kept waiting for Oprah to say, "If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you do it?" But being a professional, I don't think she asked that. Then again, maybe she did. I'll admit I didn't watch every minute of it. I'm a mother of three; I know a real apology when I see it.

This week, I had three conversations with people regarding my lack of working on my novel. At our retreat in December, I immersed myself in my story, excited about where the characters were headed and spurred on by positive comments from my friends. But thrown back into my everyday world--one of chores and commitments--the momentum was lost.

Like Lance, I have a list of excuses. The newest one I thought up--and think probably has the most merit--is that I spend my working hours writing my freelance gigs. This morning I did my annual assessment of how much I actually wrote for work last year. In 2012, I wrote and published 152 articles. I figured these averaged about 700 words, so that's a little over 106K--a decent-sized novel and then some. Add into that word count 24 blog posts and a handful of other writing projects I picked up, and I can sorta justify why the well seems dry at times.

Lest you roll your eyes and chastise me for complaining about my workload, let me assure you of one thing: I never take for granted how fortunate I am for steady, writing work that I'm able to do from home. It's a rare gig and I work hard to keep it. But sometimes, when I start to open the file of my WIP, it feels more like more work than an outlet for my creative energy. I feel a little parched.

So, I'm going to work on it. Work on finding ways to make writing on my novel feel a little less like a chore and more like something I WANT to do. Suggestions?


  1. P, you wrote a TON this year! I'm amazed! I don't think you should in any way feel guilty for not writing MORE. I'd say tackle your fiction with fun goals and rewards-- that makes it easier to stay on track. Pour all your love into your words and pamper yourself a little for all your hard work!

    1. Thanks, Suze. I got similar advice yesterday from a friend who read this post. She texted me this: ... take time for yourself, and maybe friends ;), and do something fun your characters might do in your novel. That way u get to take time away from work and call it research!

      I plan to do so soon ... as soon as I finish this stack of assignments piling up at my elbow!


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