Saturday, July 23, 2011

Antidotes for Excuses


There are a couple of writing tasks I haven't completed yet. There's no excuse, but I'll offer some anyway:
  • It's summer and the kids are home from school
  • I can't write at a water park--my laptop will get wet
  • I can't write at the beach--the sand will damage my laptop, or the wind will rustle my paper
  • How can I concentrate on revisions with ten 14-year-olds in our pool?
  • How can I concentrate on plotting when I have two 11-year-olds playing Wii Sports?
  • Have I mentioned it's summer and the kids are home from school?
I realize that the work will not get done unless I sit down and do it. No one else can take the blame. And there's no reason I can't put my butt-in-chair and write for 15-30 minutes at the beginning or end of each day.

If you're like me, and writing has taken a back seat, here are some great quotes about making excuses. I'll call them antidotes for excuses:

"Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure." -- Don Wilder

"Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses." -- George W. Carver

"Don't make excuses, make something incredible happen in your life right now." -- Greg Hickman

"There aren't nearly enough crutches in the world for all the lame excuses." -- Marcus Stroup

"No one ever excused his way to success." -- Dave Del Dotto

"Success is a tale of obstacles overcome, and for every obstacle overcome, an excuse not used." -- Robert Brault

"I never knew a man who was good at making excuses who was good at anything else." -- Benjamin Franklin

Ouch! I think I'd better get to work.

Have you been diligent about writing this summer? And do you have a favorite excuse to use when you haven't been writing? Or am I the only one using lame excuses?



44 comments:

  1. You're absolutely right about excuses, Julie, but all things in balance. I'm telling myself this because I feel I have been spending too much time writing this summer and not enough with my kids. They won't be kids forever. :-)

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  2. I used to make more excuses until I decided not to - but it is admittedly much harder when you've got kids (mine is grown)who absolutely do need your attention.

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  3. You're reading my mind, Julie. I too have been doing some serious exucuse-making towar my writing, and no matter how many people or things I try to shelve the blame on, it's all my fault. But those quotes definitely left a sting. Ouch! Maybe I'll make the excuse to write now to avoid reading more of those kinds of quotes!

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  4. Yes, I love excuses! Lol my life is hectic and busy, but I find time to write. I may not write 8 books a year, but I'm proud to get anything done. I do find more excuses about editing, for some reason.

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  5. I don't go outside in this heat and have no kids, so summer isn't a distraction for me. I'm just taking a break, waiting for my publisher to send my manuscript back for corrections, and trying to decide what to write next.

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  6. LOL! Those are great. I definitely haven't been as diligent as I should be. I'm getting editing done, just at a much slower pace than normal. I blame the sun being in my eyes. ;)

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  7. "No one ever excused his way to success." -- Dave Del Dotto -- I aim to be the first!! LOL OKAY! I'll get to work!

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  8. I love these! Might have to bookmark them for the slow days.

    I've actually done pretty well this summer with my writing, but then, I only have one kid and he's two years old. Still takes naps and everything. :) Good luck with the crazy summer!

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  9. It's been hard with my work schedule so goofy. I haven't been able to write at the same time every day...Just here and there as I can grab the moments.

    I just finished up 7 days in a row and have the weekend off so I plan to sit and write - some this morning - then going to a writers group meeting late this afternoon - and all day tomorrow to catch up where I should be.

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  10. Nope, you're not the only one using lame excuses, trust me :)

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  11. The only thing I've been diligent about this summer are MY lame excuses. :) Happy writing, Julie!

    Amy

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  12. I love these quotes. I think I shall print them and keep them close by as a reminder to get going. I don't usually have an issue making time to write, but I tend to avoid tackling the hard stuff and I make plenty of excuses as to why those parts can wait. :D

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  13. Summer is about family and friends first! Enjoy those kids - they grow up too darn fast! ... at least that's MY excuse :)

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  14. I am with you…
    My excuse range widely, and have even less fervor than the one you have stated.
    My fav is: I’m letting the plot stew in my mind first.

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  15. Great excuses and quotes. Yeah, my productivity has been down too. Getting antsy about that though, so I was puttering around on some new ideas a few minutes ago (before I procrastinated to my blogging). :)

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  16. My kids are older now so I grab every moment of summer I can share with them. I do feel that tug of guilt that my writing time has been thinner than it should be. I will however be sharing your quotes with my students who don't do their homework.

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  17. I have not and I'm disappointed in myself :(

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  18. Great quotes Julie. I'm thrilled that I've written every day even with family staying here but won't be doing any tomorrow at Marine land :)

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  19. I deflinitely lower my expectations in the summer. But I don't consider them excuses. I read. I blog. I work on revisions. But I use summer to let my wip sit for 6 weeks. Oh, and I plot so I can start writing in September when the kids go back. I have time at night but I'm exhausted from swimming...etc. It's just the way it is.

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  20. Oh, I totally know what you mean. Writing has taken a back seat for me, too. A very, very back seat. I have plenty of excuses--I moved from one state to another, I was working on publishing a book, I'm STILL working on publishing a book (Kindle's out but there's still the paperback and the EPUB format to conquer, oi!) and I've been hunting for school books to start up my kids' homeschooling...

    Yeah, all of those people who said those things about excuses would probably be shaking their heads at me right now. ;)

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  21. I'm most productive when my kids are busy with Wii Sports!! No kids need/want Mama Bee watching over them!! (but yeah, summer...oy).]
    erica

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  22. But it's winter, and it's cold, and Husband's playing a cute video game I want to watch, and I'm not sure what comes next, and the dog needs a cuddle, and... okay, fine. I'll write. Curses!

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  23. Some great quotes there. And yeah...very motivational. Thanks for collecting these and sharing!

    I am fabulous at procrastination though, so I know how it is!!

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  24. I think 'Lame Excuses' might be my middle name, Julie. Thanks for a great post. I can't help noticing, though, that every one of your quotes comes from a man. Who no doubt had children. But didn't raise them, at least not like a mom does. Still, you're so right. 15 minutes at the beginning of the day to write is definitely doable!

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  25. Hi, Julie. There's a lot of stuff that we could be occupied with, so it isn't easy to try and squeeze in the work. I can't help you with everything - someone needs to be watching those kids when they're in the pool. However, I can offer you this when everyone is in the house and secure... Headphones, Dear! When I'm writing, I switch from rock n' roll to classical music and drown out the noise!!
    Good luck to you.

    -Jimmy

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  26. Lovely post! And fun comments. Lot of excuses to play with!

    Thanks for listing all!

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  27. Now you see why I get up everyday at 5 am. ;)

    I knew things would slow down during the summer, so I cut my blogging to two days a week. I'm almost finished my current draft and will be sending it out to beta readers soon (and I'm hoping they take a while). Next up is pre-planning my next project, which will involve a lot or pre-reading first. :D

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  28. I've been doing the work, but not at the right times. I'm supposed to get up earlier in the morning and write before going to work. Instead, I stay up late writing and networking, then sleep in. It's a vicious cycle with no excuses, and it's worn me ragged this summer.

    Therefore, I solemnly pledge that tomorrow morning, I will be up at 7:00, ready to work.

    *gulp*

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  29. I finished my WIP and am now taking a break. Though I think I deserved it! :P

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  30. Excuses are much like chocolates: they are very tempting, very addictive, and often cushion the pain of having to do something we might find difficult or challenging.

    And much like chocolates, you often regret them soon after, especially when taken in large quantities!

    Excellent post, Julie!

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  31. A great kick in the pants, Julie! I have been editing (read: looking over) my book for several weeks. For some reason this editing thing is paralyzing me. I needed this today, thank you! (PS - I tagged you in my blog, have you seen it yet?) :-)

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  32. I had to laugh at the water park excuse! And yes... ouch on those sayings.
    I don't have summer excuses now bc here it's winter. :) But I completely have winter excuses, like it's too cold and I'll better do some exercise to warm up instead of writing! :P

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  33. Haven't written anything, but I have editing much. Is that an excuse? Good quotes on excuses, by the way.

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  34. with 3 boys in the house (and their friends) all summer you have a really good excuse to not be writing! don't be so hard on yourself, julie. september is right around the corner - and even writers need a dip in the pool once in a while ;-)

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  35. Oh, yeah, I am so behind from where I should be. I have a million and one excuses too. I love the quotes. Thanks.

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  36. I always give myself excuses. Those are really excellent quotes. The fourth one makes me laugh. :)

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  37. Great quotes, Julie. None of your excuses would work for me and summer IS my time to write, so onward I go. Thanks for the push!

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  38. These are great quotes! Thanks for sharing. I used to make a lot of excuses (I don't write well at night; I have a full time job; etc.) but I've stopped doing it and have noticed how much more I get done. :)

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  39. Thanks for commenting on my blog!

    The problem with excuses is that they become hardwired into our behaviours, until they turn into accepted reality.

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  40. Great post. LOL! I am determined to get back to writing next week. I have given myself this week to sort out a few things, but now my meds have kicked in and my energy has been restored I know I must get back into the rhythm of writng :O)

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  41. Great post. Enjoyed reading the excuses and the quotes. I should post this one by my computer.

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  42. LOL I have different excuses but this is how I feel right now too. I seem to be getting swept away with summer and need to just sit down and get to work. Thanks for the quotes! Have a good summer!

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  43. I think examining my excuses for the obstacle to overcome is useful. Excuses are a part of life, and if you don't have any, you probably aren't trying hard enough. Whenever I give myself an excuse for why something isn't getting done, I think about what I can do to invalidate that excuse.

    I have found through the years that I am very creative with coming up with new excuses, so I need to be even more creative in coming up with ways to shoot down the excuses (for example -- "the house is too busy to work in" used to mean closing my office door, now it means a trip to Starbucks (because the washing machine suddenly calls to me now that the kids are grown :-)

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