On my iPhone, I have an app that generates writing prompts. Yesterday’s prompt was “What excuses are you making?” When those words popped up, at once I pictured dozens of things I’d convinced myself were more important than my writing.
The foremost was, “Reading isn’t wasting time! Writers read.” Reading is important, but when it makes you so busy that the story is never written, you wind up wasting opportunities.
All sorts of excuses followed. I’m helping friends; I’m world building; I’m waiting for the right month in the summer. These were my excuses but, minutes away from beginning a new year, I could no longer allow excuses to slow me down.
If I wrote all the ideas in my heart, I would have a shelf of work. No doubt, the reading I’ve been doing would have helped with it—but, even though writers read, what they must do is write.
Here are my plans for this year:
My beta readers have given me fantastic feedback on The Mermaid of Rose Hill, so I will begin my (hopefully) final edit later this month. Before I go back to editing, though, I want to have a bit of fun.
I’m writing a series of fantasy novellas loosely based on the TV show Once Upon a Time, though the storylines aren’t the same. Knowing my writing speed, I can finish a novella in two weeks or less; today, I have been outlining it, crafting the characters, and trying to make everything tidy as possible.
I have another novel I wrote a couple of years ago that I’m also considering self publishing. Whatever happens with Mermaid, I will always favor the indie path, and a lot of people enjoyed the novel in question. I’d love to share it with you.
What excuses are you making? Every moment is a chance for you to improve as a writer, in ways that might surprise you. I’m planning my career for the next ten years, outlining novellas and giving ideas the attention they deserve. I’m applying dedication to the craft that I should have done earlier.
By the time this decade ends, I might be a successful author; I might not. At least I’ll have done what I loved, the craft that creates new worlds.
My plan for the new roaring twenties is to reach my full potential and stop making excuses.
Happy New Year! I hope you have a blessed one!