What’s your excuse?

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Day 29 of 31. Woohoo! I’m almost done this daily blog challenge. I admit, it’s been fun and very…uh…challenging, to say the least. Finding time most days was easy, but there are a few instances when it seemed time got away and I didn’t get to write until late in the evening. But no matter what, I wrote every single day since January 26. Why? Because I wanted to. Finding a topic, however, every single day, was quite a task in itself.

During my morning devotions, I read a quote that prompted an idea for today’s blog post.

He that is good for making excuses
is seldom good for anything else.
~ Benjamin Franklin

Ouch!

Today, I want to talk about excuses. We all have them. We all make them. I’m sure we all believe they’re legitimate too.  

I can’t write because I don’t have time… I can’t afford to take creative writing classes… my family needs my attention… I work a full-time job outside the home…

Sounds familiar?

Hey, I’ve been there. I wrote my first novel — with pen and paper, between phone calls as a customer service rep. I then had to transcribe everything to my computer when I came home after my shift. Yet, I had over 50,000 words in 30 days. I know what it’s like to scramble. 

It’s easy to find all sorts of reasons why we can’t write. This thought-pattern stops us from moving forward. Instead of making excuses, shouldn’t we look for a way to get results?

On January 28, I wrote about making things happen. Finding time to write is not always easy, but personally, I think a lot of it is excuses. I’m not talking about setting your priorities aside. Precious time with family should always be number 1. And yes, there are meals to prepare, a house to clean, laundry to do. I get that. 

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What I’m talking about are things like some TV show(s) you say you have to watch every night. If you really want to write, can’t you use that hour or two (or more) to do so? (I say YOU because I rarely ever watch TV anymore. I can’t seem to find anything suitable for my liking). What about the computer where we (I’m guilty) spend way too much time scrolling through different social media apps? 

Pretend there’s a timer on those apps, and it starts the moment we opened it. A big number flashes on our screen when we X out. What does your timer say? Don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT saying those apps are bad. They keep us connected with our family and friends (and many people we don’t even know who sent a friend request for whatever reason). 

Isn’t it time we get rid of excuses, and add writing to our to-do list? I did that some time ago. Some say I spend too much time on the computer. I tell them I prefer to do research for my next novel, or blog post. 

What’s your excuse? Please leave a comment below. 

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Plotter or Pantser? Tell us why.

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Today is day 12 of the 31-Day Blogging Challenge. I’ve covered topics ranging from the worth of an editor, where we get our inspiration, and how to find time to write in the busyness of life, to how hard it is to write when we don’t know what to say. I’ve touched on what to do when distractions come our way, shared helpful resources, and discussed how to pick a catchy title, and design an attractive cover. Let’s not forget getting out of our comfort zone to write about things we know little—or nothing—about.  What’s left?

Plenty!

Why do many write by the seat of their pants while others write a full outline a head of time?

I’m a pantser, 100 %. If I wrote an outline, my short attention span would keep me from following it. I’ve asked my Facebook friends which they do and why. I’m surprised to see some do both. As a thank you, I’ve added a link to their website and/or books. Check them out.

“Pantser. I naturally write chronological, but my skills were honed as a Hollywood screenwriting to figure out scenes and flow in my head while working.” Shawn Lamb

“Both. I begin with a basic chapter and scene outline where I work out timelines so I know what happens, when, and where. I discover the “how” while I am writing. Sometimes that blows up the outline, so I redo it. For me, it has proven to be a powerful approach. It gets me started but allows the muse to take control and surprise me. She always pulls me deeper into the story. It is a scary, fun way to write.” Sydney Matheson Avery

“I am a Plotter. Why in 20 words -> “Because my mind constantly goes in so many different directions, without a defined outline, my books would never get completed!” Jason Tremere

“I’m both. I plot the entire story in my head, then write it. Many times the plot takes a turn but I always know the ending.” Gloria Doty-High

“Pantser most definitely. I write like I read and want to build the suspense.” Sarah Butland

“Both. First, I pants my way through a book, because I see it as a movie in my head. Then I plot, so I can connect dots and make sense of it.” Dawn Torraville-Cairns

“Plotting gives me a framework to see where my ideas fit, what other ideas they require, and perhaps how I can add a twist. It lets me brainstorm for the best options, instead of taking what comes first. I don’t “pants” well. Let’s me write faster, too.” Janet Sketchley

Pantser. I start out with an idea and my characters tell me where to go. If I plotted, it would be completely different from where I end up, so why bother.  Sami A. Abrams

“Pantser turned plotter. Found having focus helps me write tighter and faster. Not so many rewrites needed.” Susan Lower

Are you a pantser or a plotter? Tell us why in a comment below.