September 16, 2020-Tuesday, while on my daily run, I saw a man jogging along the mountain brow, pushing his baby in a stroller at around 6:30 in the morning. I admired his commitment to fitness and also that he brought his kid with him. Then I started to think about all of the excuses he could have had; It’s too cold, I want to sleep in, I’ll just skip today, I’ll leave my son at home with my spouse, I don’t want to wake him up, it’s too early, and the list could go on and on.
The point is, we all tell ourselves BS stories that are just an out for the things we know we should be doing; we give ourselves too many passes and a bunch of reasons as to why we can’t do something. I’m here to tell you that it’s time to stop lying to yourself. Here are the most common excuses that I hear from authors/writers/entrepreneurs:
- I don’t have time- I hear this constantly; I don’t have time to finish my manuscript, there aren’t enough hours in a day, it’s taking way too long to finish my first draft, I’m too busy to write. Etc. Etc.
- I have writer’s block- I can’t think of a plotline, my story isn’t working, there aren’t any good ideas left, I just stare at my blank computer screen, but nothing comes to mind, I can’t focus. Etc. Etc.
- I’ll do it tomorrow-Tomorrow will be a better day; it can wait until tomorrow to finish; I’ll just skip today and do it tomorrow etc. etc.
- I can’t afford it- Continuing education is too expensive; I can’t afford to keep my membership to (insert name of author or writing organization here), the course is too much money. Etc. Etc.
- My work isn’t good enough- I don’t want to let anyone read this, it’s too personal, I don’t think it’s good enough to send to a publisher, I’ll wait until it’s perfect before letting you read it. Etc. Etc.
- It didn’t pay off. The show was slow, so there’s no point in going again this week; I didn’t cover my table cost, I didn’t sell that many books, I was bored the whole time and could be doing something more constructive with my time. Etc. Etc.
So, what’s the BS story you keep telling yourself and what success is it holding you back from?
I don’t have time* Solution-wake up an hour earlier or go to bed an hour later.
I have writer’s block*Solution-change your space, get the words on the page and stop self-editing.
I’ll do it tomorrow* Solution-tomorrow may never come, do it today.
I can’t afford it* Solution-look into grants, stop buying stupid things, start budgeting, contact the organizer to see if they’ll work with you, ask about payment plans, buy a book or borrow one from the library on the subject you’re interested in furthering your education with.
My work isn’t good enough*Solution-send it in anyway, let others read it, do better and improve your skills by asking for feedback and constructive criticism.
It didn’t pay off*Solution-give away literature, up your game with your table display, talk to other vendors, entice people to come to your booth with a free draw, measure the value in other ways-How many connections did you make? How many emails did you get? What opportunities did you drum up? How many people did you talk to about literacy? It may not pay off this second, but it sure could in the future.
Stop making excuses and giving yourself a way out. Do what you need to do day in and day out to be successful. No one said it would be easy, but it will be worth it.