Whatever happens, stop blaming other people for your failures. Stop complaining. Stop dicking around. Start doing that thing you want to do and do it with all the love you can fling into it. – Chuck Wendig, “It’s Half-Past ‘You Should Quit Writing’ O’Clock”
This quote has been rolling around my mind-grapes ever since I read it last week (side note: if you’re a writer, and not reading Chuck Wendig‘s Terrible Mind’s blog — get on it). There are all sorts of inspirational quotes in the world — ranging from the touchy-feely to a kick-in-the-pants — and usually? They don’t do much for me. But this one jumped out at me and hasn’t let go.
They say timing is everything, and I blame timing with this one. You guys, I realized the other day that I’ve been working on my current book for two years.
Let me repeat that.
Two years. And that’s not like, “Ooooh I’ve been working on this book for two years and am on my third rewrite now.” No, it’s “I’ve been working on this book for two years and arghdammit haven’t finished the first draft.” Which…yikes. That’s embarrassing. And before you say, “Well, this famous author took ten years to write her book!” — yes. It does happen. But there are also authors who finish first drafts in six months. So I think my excuses are thin.
Other excuses I could throw out into the universe? Well, I’ve been working full-time for those entire two years. I got married, bought a house, did freelance work… you know, been busy.
But you know what else? I am so tired of excuses. There are a million reasons NOT to do something. In fact, there are usually very few good reasons TO do something — especially write a book. It’s not really a get-rich-quick scheme (or you know, ANY scheme involving the words “get rich”). It’s easy to find reasons not to sit down and write.
And I am tired of those reasons. Yes, I’ve been pretty good about writing for half an hour on most days. But why isn’t it every day? Why is 30 minutes my meager limit? I need to up my game, I need to nut up and sit down and stop letting myself off the hook.
I’m challenging myself to finish the first draft by summer. Two years is too long. I’m finishing the damn thing.
What have you been putting off? Want to join me in ditching the excuses? Think of all the shit we can get done if we just shut up and do it.