Legitimate Reasons to Put Off Writing Your Book

Pretty much everyone wants to write a book one day. Any thinking person who's actually tried to set some words to page, however, knows that there's always a legitimate reason to put it off.

Legitimate Reasons to Put Off Writing Your Book:
  • All your fingers are broken at the same time.
  • You need to finish watching the ten-season show you're currently marathoning on Netflix. Otherwise you'll never be able to concentrate on writing.
  • You realize that your keyboard and computer screen are both disgusting biohazard zones that must be cleaned on the microscopic level before you can get anything done.
  • You need to do research.
  • You don't have a good writing spot picked out yet. Your house is too quiet, the coffee shop is too noisy, and your car is too stuffy. 
  • You can't figure out how to use Scriviner.
  • You need to build your social media platform, but you still don't understand what Tumblr even is.
  • You know the beginning and end of your story, but you have no idea what happens in the middle. 
  • You haven't settled on a pen name yet. Everything you try makes you sound like a serial killer.
  • You want to lose ten pounds before you take your author head shots and sitting down for eight hours per day to write a book isn't helping.
  • Your neighbor's dog won't stop barking.
  • Your own dog won't stop barking.
  • You can't stop barking.
  • Your kids need to grow up and leave home.
  • You're not a good writer yet.
Of course, very few of these points are actually legitimate reasons to put off anything. Instead, they're just the sort of lies we tell ourselves to put off sitting down and hazarding the ultimate risk of writing. 

Of all the reasons to put it off, that last one is the least legitimate. 

The only way to learn how to ride a bicycle is to try riding a bicycle. You'll wobble, fall down, and crash into trees a few times, but eventually you'll learn to ride. It's the same with writing. Sure, you'll run your manuscript into a few parked cars along the way, but eventually you'll produce something worth signing your (non-serial-killer) name to. 

Remember that every person who's ever been published had to write his first book before anybody considered him a writer. 

Anybody other than himself, that is.

So finish your Netflix binge, q-tip your keyboard, run a microfiber cloth over your screen, and get to work.

The world needs your book.

* * * *

Happy NaNoWriMo to all participating! Don't forget to share your writing goals with a community of like-minded friends who can hold you accountable and cheer you on. It's scary, but it's worth it.

In the interest of full disclosure: because I'm currently in the editing cycle of a major project, I'm skipping NaNoWriMo this year for the first time in a while. However, I always have monthly goals. My goal this month is to edit a chapter a day. 

So far I'm on track. 



  1. "I'm too busy right now"
    "I've got living to do" - also a legit reason for not getting married...or never getting married...whichever may be your chosen case. ;)


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