Thursday, April 30, 2015

Follow Your Dreams, Get Writing and Turn Those Excuses Upside Down

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Turn your writing excuses upside down.
We writers are our own worst enemy. We can come up with more reasons to avoid writing and following our dreams than anyone else. I talk to so many people who claim to want to write. And those same people are the most vocal about why they can’t follow their dreams.

The more we talk about why we can’t—the more we guarantee our own failure.

Today I’m listing the top excuses I hear and turning them upside down.

Excuses for NOT Following Our Dreams—Turned into Reasons TO Follow Our Dreams
1. I’m waiting for inspiration not to strike. Successful writers pound out words whether they feel like it or not. Yes, sometimes what we write stinks. But it’s impossible to edit a blank page.

2. There’s no time like the present. It’s time to quit putting off the work you know you have to do. So sit down at the keyboard and write.

Success takes work.
3. It’s tough to succeed in the current climate so I’m going to have to work twice as hard. Personally, I think it’s the best time ever to be a writer. But there’s no doubt this is a difficult career path. That doesn’t mean we give up before we start, though. It means we double our effort.

4. My family needs me to live up to my potential. It may seem that taking time away from family gatherings/responsibilities/events (what ever you call them) is neglect. In truth, we owe our families the example of living up to our potential. It’s time to quit using our families as excuses and instead be an inspiration to them.

I can't afford to put off writing another minute.
5. I can’t afford to put off writing another minute. It does take a monetary investment to grow in this industry. We need to attend conferences, join writers groups and professional associations. But it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming burden.

6. I might not succeed unless I take a chance. The only guaranteed way to fail is to quit. We each have our own unique path to writing success. Embrace the journey and keep going.

7. I’m too old to wait any longer. No matter what Bible character you look at, God NEVER judged anyone as too old. If God doesn’t think we’re too old, we shouldn’t either. With age comes wisdom. Be wise and get moving.

Give up that defeated attitude.
8. I’ll never get published if I continue to have a defeated attitude. There are more ways and more opportunities than ever for publication. The industry hasn’t shrunk, it’s grown. Continue to hone your craft and publication will happen.

9. It’s not worth the effort to sit around and whine. Yes, it takes work to grow as a writer. Anything worth doing takes effort. The only time that effort is wasted is when we spend it whining.

10. I’m afraid I’ll regret not giving my dream a chance. My biggest fear is that at the end of my life—whenever that comes—is that I won’t have taken chances and followed God. I don’t want to be someone who wishes I’d gone ahead and given writing a full chance.

These are the excuses that I’ve chose to turn upside down. What would you add to the list? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


Don’t let excuses keep you from following your #writing dream, instead look at them differently - @EdieMelson (Click toTweet)


  1. A writer only fails when they give up! My journey to publication took 12 years. What if I'd given up in the 10th or 11th year? Besides, the journey is a good one. I look at the wonderful friends I've made along the way. :)

    1. Ane, you are so right - the joy is in the journey! Thanks for sharing! Blessings, E

  2. I chuckled all the way through this. Thank you for tuning things write side up for me. (Yes the misspelling was intentional) I can find many excused, especially my ADHD. God has shown me that through Him I can do it.

    1. Cherrilynn, you definitely can! Thanks so much for dropping by, Blessings, E

  3. Wow, I really needed this today, Edie! I'm struggling with my work-in-progress and falling into the avoidance trap big-time. I need to just buckle down and face it. Thanks for the pep-talk!

    1. Jerusha, I'm glad to help! Thanks for sharing your own struggles, Blessings, E

  4. Love the post, Edie. I can relate to most of your list. Here's another excuse; I can never pull this off if I pull myself out of the running. Overwhelmed and feeling inadequate, I tell myself, "I can never pull this off." I will prove this excuse as ever-so-right if I pull myself out of the running in writing.

    1. Karen, I love that! Thanks so much for chiming in! Blessings, E

  5. What a great list of excuses/motivations!

    And, Karen, I especially like the excuse you added. I often feel so inadequate to the task that I voluntarily withdraw from the effort. I'm glad to see I'm not alone in that!

    Of Edie's list, #10 is my biggest problem. Fear. Fear of failure. Fear of success (yes, really). Fear of finishing but falling short.

    Mostly, I'm afraid I'm doing the right thing. What if a different story is the one I'm really supposed to be writing, instead of the one I'm working on?

    So, yes. Thank you for the post. It hits my nail on the head!

    1. Carrie, you really aren't alone in your fears. I fight the same things. I think most of us do. It helps so much to know others struggling with the same things. Thanks for sharing your heart! Blessings, E

  6. Thanks for this timely post, Edie. I absolutely relate to #10. A few years ago God whispered a word and said it was the title of my novel. I was surprised since I've always considered myself a non fiction writer, but I hammered away during NaNoWriMo and drafted 50,000 words...and then I let "Aurora" sit...and sit...and sit and it's nearly three years later and just two weeks ago, at the glorious shore in SC, I was impressed that God said FINISH AURORA THIS SUMMER...So I've promised Him I WILL...and I'm on it. Thanks for some good encouragement!! Blessings...