The Excuse

Yeah, it’s that guilty pleasure that we indulge in way too often called the excuse. It’s another way to procrastinate and to tell ourselves it’s alright to put something off. I’m exceptionally guilty of this particular offense. If there is an excuse in the book, I’ve used it and this couldn’t be more true than with my writing.

We discussed the issue of ‘painful writing’ today at my writer’s meeting. Some people don’t seem to have this problem, but for the rest of us out there who do… well you know what I’m talking about. It’s sitting at the laptop and feeling it building as soon as you fire the device up. The worst of it hits full force as soon as the document file opens up. Black and white text stares back mocking you, but you suddenly remember something you forgot to do that just has to be done right that moment, so what do you do? That’s right, you jump up to go do it real quick and then conveniently forget that you’d actually intended to get some writing done that day. Yeah, you feel smug because you got so much accomplished for the day, except for the one thing that you really want to do… to write.

Sound familiar? Maybe not. Maybe you fight the pain and work through it like a brave champion, sometimes I can do it too. But I’d be a liar to say I didn’t allow excuses to lead to some serious bouts of procrastination (like this past week for instance). This, of course, applies to other things in life as well, not just writing. I find that I’m well rounded and don’t discriminate at different things I make excuses for.

So how do we avoid the excuse and the procrastination that comes from it? Well, I find a good swift kick in the rear end helps (this is usually supplied by good friends who don’t mind offering their feet for the task). Then there is the guilt that lingers and acts as a motivator after especially long periods of procrastination. There is also keeping yourself in a good supply of goals and motivational techniques.

A great motivational technique is envisioning what you want to get out of what your trying to strive for, but also remember not to set your ambitions so high you’ll never reach them. There is nothing more frustrating than climbing to a goal you never feel like you’ll be able to achieve. Baby steps is the key. So break those goals up into bite size chunks that you can tackle, because there is nothing quite as motivational as a goal achieved.

Here comes the pain and I shall embrace it, because to not do so would mean even worse agony down the road. After all, procrastination only hurts yourself, especially in the self confidence category. Ouch.

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