Too Busy to Write: When We Make Excuses to Avoid the Page

photo-27For years, even in my MFA years, this was my excuse: I’m too busy to write.

I took on side jobs; I never said no to social events; I watched too much TV.

This was busy. This was before-kids busy. I didn’t know the meaning of busy , yet it was my excuse to not face the page. Now, I’m working on a memoir and I’m trying to drop the excuses. I’m am writing, even when it’s hard.

I started my memoir during a fit of insomnia during my second pregnancy. I would go to bed at 9 with my son, and then wake up wide eyed at 2 am. The creative juices were following, as I felt the baby’s tiny kicks and punches from within.

I cranked out 30,000 words in three months. Then I stopped. The baby’s due date was getting closer and I had to shift my focus on something more important: becoming a mother again. Also, I needed some space between me and my project (but that’s probably an excuse, too).

For a year, my newborn baby became my excuse, the ultimate excuse. Then this June, I picked the project back up again — and after two and a half months of writing, I’m now at 61K and at a place where I’m starting intense revisions.

Instead of excuses, I have a plan:

20 chapters in 20 weeks

A chapter a week until I have a draft I’m ready to send out to a few beta readers before I embark on the find-an-agent journey.

20 weeks while I’m teaching and mothering and keeping up this blog.

20 weeks until 2013 ends. I hope 2014 is a big year for me.

Are you writing? And if not, what’s your excuse??? Tell us about your project and your excuses! 


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