Saturday, August 15, 2015

What's Your Excuse

Write every day - that's one of the biggest and most frequent pieces of advice you will receive as a writer. But your life is too crazy and busy to do so - or so you say.

We all know the excuses for avoiding writing, but what about those of you who yearn to close yourself off and immerse into the fantasy world of your own creation? The feeling of joy as you pound away at the keyboard and see the fruits of your labor. I'm sure those of you who love to write go through this all the time. 

I know I do.

But the fact is, life does go on, and we tend to lead busy lives. This is where you need to have a long discussion with yourself about what are your priorities - finding time to write, or allowing those around you to prevent you from doing what you love.

It really is as simple as that.

I know, right now your mind is reeling from what I just said, but the fact remains if you really want to be a writer, you will find the time, and quite possibly, the energy.

Maybe you feel as though I'm putting pressure on you, but really, you're doing it to yourself. Although it is true that I have a wonderful husband who understands my need to write and supports me 100%, but even if you don't have enough support from your family, you need to decide if it's worth laying it all on the line. Express your desire to write and ask for support. 

I know it's easier said than done, and if your job or family is too demanding, well then, you'll have to sneak in the time as much as you can. It is your turn to be selfish with your time.

I'm willing to bet that your spouse loves you and wants you to be happy, and I'm willing to bet he/she have their own hobbies, or things they enjoy doing outside of work, or raising a family. Are you supportive of them to do the things they love to do? If your answer is yes, then the two of you need to come to an agreement.

If you don't have a spouse and are winging life on your own, then it really is up to you to make time for your writing. Every situation is different. I've even heard the excuse of "I'm too old to start a writing career". So not true. I can name several writers who started doing so after they retired.

Life's too short to let things get in the way of your love of writing. So tell me, leave me a comment about what your excuse is. 

Have a nice weekend all - and to all you writers - write!

Love, Lisa


  1. I am incredibly guilty of this. By the time I get home from work, I've so little energy left I usually just stare at a TV screen before curling up with a book before bed. Thankfully, my book design jobs are getting more frequent as of late. Not frequent enough (I'd need 2-3 print jobs a week to sustain myself financially on a slim budget—short of upping my rates drastically) to quit, but with new clients come new referrals. While that may cut into what little writing time I can come up with right now, the amount of time I have to spend doing book design to make what I make as an insurance broker is a quarter of what I work now. Once I transition from insurance to book design, I will have plenty of time to write and have fun. Probably not in 2015, but 2016 looks to be the year.

  2. It's wonderful to hear from you, Ryan! My blog has missed you! ;-) I'm glad to hear you're earning some money with book design, you're very good at it. I have a question about it that maybe you could help me with. How do I remove the say my name or title of the book, I just can't seem to get rid of the page number and title on the first page of a chapter. would you be willing to help an old friend out with that info?

    As far as writing, if you could tell yourself that you will write 500 words a day, or every other, you might find you won't watch as much TV, but instead write in the evening. You never know?!

    Thanks again for posting and I'll be looking for your answer to my question.

  3. Ryan, half of one of my sentences got cut out for some reason. GRRR... Anyway, how do I get rid of the page number, and it still keeps track of the page numbers for the other pages, and the header on the first page of a chapter. I hope that makes sense.

  4. The short answer is to just hire me, but I suspect you want the long answer below. Keeping in mind that my version of MS Word is 2000 and thus very old and I have had to base my response on screenshots of Word 360.

    Firstly, don't set up headers and footers until you are done your front matter. Then, go to Page Layout, selection "Breaks" and choose "Next Odd Page." This will be page number 1. You will want to add your page number and "Start at 1." You will want to ensure the "Link to previous" option is not selected for the headers/footers because you do not want to link to the previous. I believe choosing "Next Odd Page" will automatically insert completely blank pages where required. You will also want "Different First Page" and "Different Even/Odd Page" for your headers and footers. This will allow you to omit your header and/or your footer for the first page of a section (e.g., chapter 1 start page).

    You will want to do the "Breaks > Next Odd Page" before each chapter. I am not sure if you need to unlink the headers ("Link to Previous" turned off) for each chapter with regard to how it treats the first page and even/odd pages. You will have to test. Hopefully it's smart and will treat it the same as it did in the previous section. If it continues with header/footer on all pages of the section, you will need to unlink and set the header/footer up for each chapter.

    If that makes sense.

    There's a reason I do book design in Adobe InDesign.