Writers Book of Days - Judy Reeves I altered it to fit writing in general rather than novel writing which is used in the book. Top 10 Excuses Not to Practice... Culled from a bevy of writing-practice experts, these are the top ten excuses not to practice. Cleaning, laundry shopping, lawn to mow; to busy, too many chores. Not enough time. "Can't get anything real written tonight, so why start?" "I'll just get started then it'll be time to quit, so why even start in the first place?" Others (spouse, children, family, pets) need me. I'm too tired I'm not inspired now, but I will be later. I can't focus, don't feel creative, have to get in the mood. Need to exercise. Nap time, bed time. My characters aren't talking to me. I'm stuck on plot, need more research, need to make more notes. I have nothing good to write, nothing to say. I cannot write. I'd rather read (it'll inspire me) or watch TV or play on the Internet. And of course, the moon is full, there is no moon, Mercury is in retrograde, the Cubs lost, I'm having my period, we're out of coffee. ...And What to Do about Them Excuses not to write are just that. Excuses. Here's how to overcome them: Make a date with yourself for a practice session, set aside time in your daily schedule, write it in your calendar (in ink), and honor it. If you miss the session, write in your calendar the reason you didn't show up. List what you did instead. Make a date with a writing friend. Start a writing practice group - with a regular attendance as a prerequisite for membership. Reward yourself for practice time put in. (You'll soon find the rewards are inherent in the doing) If you succumbed to an excuse today, own up to the fact that you're using excuses not to write (what's that all about?), then start again tomorrow by making an appointment with your writing self. Write a letter to yourself expressing why taking the time for writing practice is important, and write as if you were talking to your very best friend. Say how you see yourself as a writer and what writing means to you. Just for fun, self-address and stamp the letter and give it to a friend to mail to you sometime in the future without telling you when to expect it. Always remember what inspires you and what fuels you to write. It will come natural in time.