Writers are good at creating excuses not to write. Let’s face it, we’re a creative bunch with broad imaginations, so it’s no wonder we’re able to concoct amazingly intricate ways to lie to ourselves.
Let me introduce everyone to an author I admire greatly who makes every excuse automatically invalid.
I’ve watched his career and life through social media over the past several years. We’ve chatted about everything from family to writing. With four children and a full time job, money and time are in short supply, but can’t isn’t in this man’s vocabulary.
He gets up in the wee hours of the morning to edit and write blog posts, then carves out a few minutes during lunch to write books, and ends the day with marketing for other authors and freelance work. When exactly does this man sleep? Probably never, but can’t isn’t in his vocabulary.
He recently released his second horror novel in his Highway to Hell series, Trials and Tribulations. Along with a host of short stories set to come out, he’s been doing radio interviews and blog tours. Did I point out the four munchkins, full time job, daily blog posts, and marketing for other authors?
I should also mention one of his sons, now 4, has autism. For anyone who has dealt with an autistic child, you already know the great patience and care it takes to ensure these children have full lives in a compassionate environment. The outbursts alone, usually caused by an inability to process their surroundings and emotions, can be challenging and exhausting. For Alex, this simply makes his son unique.
All excuses are now invalid.
Hero is a mighty big word, so I won’t lay that weight on his shoulders, but I admire the hell out of him. Watching his struggles and triumphs has shown me anything is absolutely possible if you pour every ounce of your passion into it.
I can’t. There’s no time. It’s too much work. I’ll never get it done. No one will like it anyway.
These words have been stricken from my vocabulary. They don’t exist anymore, due in no small part to the many authors I see carving out five more minutes to devote to their dreams. They have no more time or money or energy than anyone else. The only difference is choice. With single-minded determination, people like Alex choose to solidly plant their backsides in a chair and write.
It’s not about inspiration or muses or excuses. It’s about putting words on the freaking page, even when they’re crappy. Because first drafts aren’t final drafts. Let me say that again…
First drafts aren’t final drafts.
I leave two questions for you to ponder: Where could you carve out five more minutes to devote to your passion? What excuses keep you from finding them?