Sunday, October 04, 2009

10 Reasons/Lame Excuses for Not Writing

  1. I've just moved countries and am unsettled (can milk this one for months and months...)
  2. The cats are in quarantine and I can't possibly write without them (another 5 months' shelf life for this excuse)
  3. My new study is an unfamiliar place, I can't write here until I feel totally comfortable (Yes, right, I can write in any cafe but not my own workspace?)
  4. I've got far too much to do with the Short Review (I have a great deputy editor, so really can't use this one)
  5. I do lots of writing-related things (Hmm, this old one...)
  6. I am in a fallow period and should be gentle with myself (ah, this is good, can use this one a lot)
  7. I'm still working on promoting my book (Oh, come on, it's been 13 months, get over it...)
  8. I write very very short stories so don't need very long to do it, I can always do one later (Yes, but I want to write longer stories, so I need to get down to it...)
  9. I don't know what I want to write (If I wait for this, I'll never write again...)
  10. Because it's the thing I most want to do and so, being contrary, I'm not going to do it. (I don't get this at all....but it's a strong one)

16 comments:

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Most of the above but, oh, no 10, no 10 - how I recognise you!

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Oh how I empathise, T. There I was writing a letter instead of writing fiction, and up popped this blog post. Shows how much I am concentrating!

Seriously- WHY does it work to go away to Anam Cara to write? I return to my space after breakfast and I am a writer. I work all day, with a break for lunch.

At home--- forget it!

But there is wisdom in the old advice, to just sit down and write. Sticky meaningless rubbish at first maybe, but it often turns into something else, with or without cats!

good luck.

(and the moderation word is lovely! COMFUSLY!)

Yours, comfusly,
Vanessa

annie clarkson said...

This made me smile a lot, I recognise many of them...

Rachel Fenton said...

Well, I just sat down to fill my one hour of the day's writing time and....here I am! Now, let me check, which number is that?

Procrastination must be every writer's nemesis!

Lisa Blackwell said...

Ohhhh, #3, how I love thee. When we moved to the new house six years ago, John designed a writing study to die for. It's charming and perfect, complete with floor to ceiling bookcases, a wingback chair, imported rugs, a tapestry, top notch stereo with inspiring instrumental music, and an antique desk. I believe I've used it three times for its intended purpose. I have an entire Top Ten list devoted simply to why I cannot write in that room.

But plop me down in a seedy bus station filled with people of questionable infectiousness and I turn into Joyce Carol Oates.

But a cuddly cat never hurt anything...

Sarah Hilary said...

10 is absolutely one I recognise. I don't understand it any better than you do, but I get it. I like "be gentle on yourself", a lot. But I also like that you have the perspective to see past it. Coffee, soon? We can share thoughts on the Plague of 10...

Kate said...

Love it! K x

Nik Perring said...

Yeah, I think we've all been there. Or are, there. Often.

Nik

Tania Hershman said...

Thanks, all - aren't we a strange bunch! Lisa, that's crazy, in a funny way :)

Sarah, coffee soon, definitely!

Lauri Kubuitsile said...

I'm still in shock that the cats are still in quarantine. I've never moved like that with animals. That's terrible! Do they just stay in cages or do they get to run around with other cats?

I'm sorry you're stuck in a dry patch. I always revert to nonfiction jobs until I'm sick to death of them and I'm begging for some fiction relief.

Hope things come right (I was going to put-write- but that's very corny) soon. :)

Lisa Blackwell said...

Tania, that's because I'm a) crazy and b) pretty darn funny when I put my mind to it. The question is, why do I keep trying to be serious when I write? That's another top ten list -- what we write about when we really ought to be writing something else.

BarbaraS said...

Oh my, you know me so well. On the nail, Tania, on the nail as usual. :)

swiss said...

the first nine look like excuses and sound very much like them but in common with the others above, 10 is so on the money i don;t want to even admit to it.....

Tania Hershman said...

Lauri, the cats have their own little prison cell, with an indoor bit and an outdoor bit, it ain't that grand, and no contact with other animals, but cats aren't so social anyway. I went to see them today, one of us goes every two days. It's their mental health I am worried about. 4.5 months to go!

And interesting point about doing something else - I gave up journalism, couldn't find the headspace for fiction too. Hmmm...

Lisa - good idea, do the list, crazy funny person!

Barbara, maybe I'm channeling you :)

Swiss: scary eh? Humans and their contrariness.

E.P. Chiew said...

My dear, it's because you're working towards that peace of mind -- a strange emptiness into which great ideas and words and moods flow -- and you always knew that's when you write best, and you're not there yet, with all the unsettling changes around you -- if my children were unsettled for example, as your cats are, I could not be settled.

Forgive yourself for not having that peace of mind yet. Forgive yourself for not working. Read. Relax. Take in your surroundings. Listen to lots of wonderful music. Explore and go on walks in your new city. Unpack. Deal with moving stuff.

Work towards that mind-emptiness and peace of mind. Don't work towards the writing. If you beat yourself up because you are not writing, you are definitely not concentrating on peace of mind. :-) My two cents worth of recent similar experience....

Lisa Blackwell said...

Wait, I've finally solved number three! I stole my husband's ridiculously expensive Danish recliner and dragged it back to my writing study while he was out of town. I absolutely love this chair (sitting in it now) and now I like to use this room. I wrote half a chapter without even trying. I don't know where he's going to sit from now on, but he's not getting it back.