Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Excuses, excuses...

By Annette Dashofy

Why is it that anytime I give myself a deadline or set a goal, life takes it as an opportunity to show me who’s boss? I know I’m not alone in this. So here’s your chance to pour out all your favorite excuses for not writing.

A while back, several of us posted goals, complete with deadlines. A couple listed their deadline as the end of June. So, Will? Elizabeth? How’s it going? Or not going? Considering Monday’s blog, Will, I have a strong suspicion as to what your excuse might be.

The rest of us are shooting for mid August. I, for one, pretty much expect to NOT meet that goal. Here is my list of excuses:

Doctors, dentists, and veterinarians, oh my. What possessed me to schedule every single yearly check-up for the summer months? Note to self: save these fun events for WINTER when I’m already grouchy and suffering from cabin fever.

Vacations. Well, that one doesn’t really qualify. I take my laptop with me and tend to get as much or MORE writing done when I’m at our camp. Especially, if it’s raining. Okay, that sunny week drove me to blow off writing, but I refuse to feel bad about having a good time.

Other writing commitments. Just as I was getting on a roll with the manuscript, I received my short story manuscript back with an editing letter and a deadline (NOT self-imposed this time!) for getting them done. What’s that old saying about a bird in hand? Here I have a real editor and a real possibility for publication. You bet I’m gonna put the novel on the backburner for a couple of weeks to do those revisions on the short story.

But I’ve made that deadline, so now I’m back to work on the novel. I’m also stuck on rewriting two of the latest chapters. And rewriting. And rewriting. (Relax, Paula, you’ll get them eventually.)

So that’s my list of excuses. Now I want to hear from the rest of you, whether you’ve signed on for our mid-August deadline or not. How’s the writing going? Are you on track? Off track just a bit? Completely derailed? And please feel free to share your excuses. If you can’t whine about distractions and procrastination here, where can you whine about it???

9 comments:

Joyce said...

I guess I'd better come up with a new topic. I was going to write about this very thing tomorrow!

I've been derailed by computer viruses. I'm happy to report that my three year old laptop is now running like it was new. It took longer than I expected to reformat and reinstall everything, but it's good now. (3 years of Windows updates takes a LONG time to download!)

I'd just like to know where the virus came from in the first place, because I'm very careful. It was a persistent little bugger. I'd get rid of it, and then the next day it'd be back. But I eventually won. Heh.

I'm ready to get back to writing now, but I doubt I'll make the mid-August goal. I'm shooting for mid-September.

Btw everyone, watch out for a new virus--there's a greeting card email going around with a really nasty one attached. It supposedly steals all your personal info.

PatR said...

Let's see... so many excuses.... work, medical stuff, parental issues, need for sleep, etc. Truth is that it's not enough BIC (butt in chair) time and maybe even a little whining... (but I want to have the summer off, too!! and writing is SO HARD....)

Glad to know I'm not alone....

Jennie Bentley said...

Um... the kids are home from school, and I feel guilty if I don't do anything but sit at the computer while they play video games. We go places and see things.

Apart from that, I'm between contracts. I've been working on a ton of proposals for this, that, and the other, although that's not really writing... And I'm playing with a couple of ideas, but I don't want to get too invested in anything when I don't know if I'm ever going to get to write it.

And I've got a book coming out in less than a month, so I'm scheduling signings and interviews and such-like. If any of you are in or around Nashville on August 8, we're having a launch party at Sherlock's Books in Lebanon. You're hereby invited.

Of course, I know that just as August hits, and I'm knee-deep in promoting Spackled and Spooked, I'll get the editorial letter for DIY#3 (now officially called Plaster and Poison; did I mention that?) as well as the editorial letter for A Cutthroat Business, as well as the go-ahead on at least DIY#4 & DIY#5, probably with a deadline of February to deliver the next manuscript... And then I'll be sorry I spent the whole summer goofing off.

Annette said...

Oops, Joyce. Guess it's a universal topic. Maybe you could keep the subject and make it PART TWO?

I've noticed all the greeting cards I've supposedly been receiving. It's especially annoying because my birthday is this week and I'm trying to tell the real ones from the bad ones. But the real ones usually give a name as to whom they are from. Not just "a friend."

So be forewarned: NO ANONYMOUS BIRTHDAY E-GREETINGS!

Annette said...

Congrats on the upcoming books, Jennie. As productive as you are, you DESERVE the summer off!

Wilfred Bereswill said...

I'm not going to use computer life support as an excuse. I have a perfectly good Netbook that I bought for the sole purpose of writing. I just happened to have left it at the office over the long weekend in my haste to leave on Thursday. I would NOT have touched it during the holiday weekend on any account.

My current problem is that my vision of the books ending isn't meeting my current expectations. I'm waiting for that "AHA" moment to smack me in the ass. That or some nice lady.

I suppose I need to just write and then go back and re-write.

My other excuse is the 12 to 13 hour day job sucking the life, uh creativity out of me.

Annette said...

Twelve to thirteen hour workdays would do it to me, too.

Jennie Bentley said...

Thank you, Annette, but I'm not actually that productive. Not compared to some. Nora Roberts writes a book in 45 days, from what I read somewhere. Of course, she probably has a staff to handle everything else. I just read an interview with Janet Evanovich - very interesting, btw - and it said that in addition to her husband and two kids, who all work for her, she employs a staff of ten. With that kind of backup, I could get more done, too!

queenofmean said...

I've been in kind of writing fog for the last week or so. We had a wedding last Friday & since we were involved in the ceremony, we went to the rehearsal dinner. And I had the responsibility of getting the 3 males in my house properly attired for the events. You'd have thought the one with the tux would have been easy, except that the jacket sleeves were too short. And then with Saturday being the 4th, we had a picnic.
I just don't seem to have gotten back on track. I'm still hoping for mid-August (fingers-crossed), but we'll see with 2 vacations & getting one son back to college & the other one started on his senior year (pictures, college stuff, etc).