Paper Hangover askes what are FIVE excuses YOU have to be ready to give up in order to be a better writer?
1. Waiting for the ideal life to write. Back when I was young I thought I would get married and whoever I married would have the means to support me in the lifestyle which I would like to become accustomed to. This lifestyle included staying home and writing all day. Um yeah that hasn't happened. Don't wait for the kids to be in school, total silence in the house, noise in the house, the winning lottery ticket.
2. I can't afford to write. Classes, MFA programs, a MacBook- these can be expensive. But you don't need these in order to write. Go to the store. Buy a pack of pens for $3 buy the 50 cent composition books. Write.
3. I don't like rejection. Join the club. Write. Don't submit anything until you are sure what you've written is pure awesome.
4. I'm shy. Lots of writers are a little introverted. If you only write in your journal this is OK if you want other people to read your stuff get out of your shell and talk to people, interact with people. Read your work out loud to people. Sing karaoke. Talk to strangers. Join a public speaking club. Take an improv class.
5 I'm afraid of failure. By the time I made it to my early-twenties I felt pretty successful. I was a good student in high school and college, I graduated college, I landed the job I wanted working with Muppets. I wrote some stories. I got rejected. I stopped writing for publication but I didn't quit writing. I returned to my dream of writing a little older and a little more familiar with the art of failure. It's like Bob Dylan said. "There's no success like failure."
My friend Quiana inspired me to drop my excuses. She is the type of person who tackles life head on. I never saw her make an excuse for anything. Seriously it's like she doesn't have a definition for the word "can't" in her vocabulary. She has accomplished so much including a Master's Degree, numerous running events, a triathlon, parenthood. She creates community wherever she goes. When I saw the way she lived I knew I had to stop making excuses and meet life head on.