Tag Archives: excuses

Nothing Left to Give

Been a quiet week around here (well, not exactly quiet by any stretch, but AI here has been quiet, no doubt), so I wanted to give out an update.

We’ve been doing work around the house for the past month or so — and when I say work, I don’t mean tidying up and deep-cleaning, I mean work — fixing things that should’ve been fixed long ago, tearing into walls to get at pipes, painting, liquid nails-ing anything that’s even the slightest bit loose, and generally turning this place from a depressing pile into a place that looks like it might be a nice place to live.

Because we’re trying to move.

So it’s been daily trips to the Home Depot, a daily devotional of instructional home-improvement youtube videos, the near-constant losing and re-finding of tools (especially screwdrivers: seems like I can only keep track of one for about fifteen minutes before the dark elves spirit it away to some obscure region of the house), and occasional bouts of stress-crying, stress-screaming, and stress-hammering-things-that-don’t-really-need-hammering. From sunup to sundown, we’ve been busting our butts giving this place a makeover, and we have very little left to give.

I could give a list of things that we’ve gotten done, but it would probably depress me, so I will refrain.

Needless to say, all that work hasn’t left time for any writing this week — either on the novel or around here — which bums me out a bit, but at the same time, there were really no two ways about it. With rehearsals on the musical ramping up — the show opens in two weeks — there’s no time for this stuff during the week. So we had to use this week — spring break week! — to get it all done.

So we’re exhausted from working ourselves down to the nub, and frustrated from giving all our time to this old house rather than doing the things we’d actually enjoy doing. On the other hand, there’s a certain satisfaction to knowing that the day was fully utilized, with not a minute wasted on frivolous things. (Well, maybe a minute here and there — we’re not machines, after all. Saw the new Beauty and the Beast while the grandparents were kind enough to babysit the kids for a couple of nights. The Terrible Review in one word? Meh.)

At any rate, Accidentally Inspired didn’t just vanish from the internet; I didn’t suddenly give up, board up the windows, and label this place condemned. There was just– no exaggeration here, and I say it fully cognizant of my usual statements against the very sentiment — literally no time for it.

And for that matter, time will remain short at least until the musical goes up, although going back to work is ironically going to free up more time for me to sneak my daily writing in. Sad thing is, I have tons of stuff I want to write about; the days just aren’t giving me the time. Instead, I’m hurriedly banging this post out on a Sunday morning — a day late, but what can I say — while my wife sleeps in a little bit and we wait for it to warm up outside so we can start on some yard work.

Yard work. Two of the dirtiest words in my lexicon.


Normality will be restored once we are sure what is normal to begin with.

This weekly remotivational post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Every weekend, I use Linda G. Hill’s prompt to refocus my efforts and evaluate my process, sometimes with productive results. This week? Maybe not so productive.

Excuses, excuses

Sometimes I blarg about what’s going on in my life, sometimes I find a topic somewhere that I like, and oftentimes on Saturdays I take the topic from Linda G Hill’s site for a stream-of-consciousness post that I type without second-guessing myself.

Today’s topic honestly feels as if guest author Leigh Michaels slithered in through my earhole, squeezed the spongy matter of my brain, and slurped up the juicy bits of raw fear that came dripping out. Her prompt is the word “excuse,” and boy oh boy have I been making excuses lately.

The novel has slid right away from me over the past two weeks. I finally navigated the minefield of rewriting a particularly troublesome scene, and, flush with success, allowed myself to miss a couple of editing sessions owing to… well… a slew of excuses. I was really busy at work (I was). I was mentally tapped after fixing that one scene (it’s true). Kids were wearing me out (always true). And I allowed those excuses to be “good enough” to allow myself not to work on the novel without chipping away at my self-esteem.

However, that permissive slide is in direct violation of the mantra of my blarg, which is “momentum matters”. Actually, no, the mantra of my blarg is that “things don’t always have to mean things, except that things ALWAYS mean things.” And the permissive slide is actually not so much a direct violation of the “momentum matters” thing as it is a perfect example of it.

You say you’re going to get up at 5 AM and run three days a week, and you do it for two weeks, but in week 3 that snooze button is just too tempting, and then it’s all too easy to hit that snooze button every morning, and before you know it, those early morning runs are a thing of the past. You say you’re going to diet, and you do well for a while, but then you go out to dinner and, well, a couple bites of chips and queso won’t hurt, and next thing you’re at the drive-thru ordering a double cheeseburger because the diet is already screwed for the week, why stop the slide now?

So: I allowed myself out of a few days’ worth of novel work, and those few days turned into almost two weeks.

I had good excuses. Valid excuses. Excuses which are totally reasonable for getting me off the hook. But they’re establishing the sort of momentum that I don’t want gumming up the gears around here. Now, work has been busy, and the holidays do have me a bit more stressed than usual… but next week it’ll be something else, some new stressor, some new obstacle to getting the work done. And yes, it’d be perfectly reasonable to acknowledge those excuses and continue not to work on the novel. Believe me, I feel the gravity of that black hole.

But it’s not the time to embrace excuses. The edit is at about 70%. I may not finish it by the new year, as was my goal, but I will damn sure finish it, excuses or no.

So thanks for the prompt, Leigh… you’ve shone a bright light on my dark enabling of my own lame half-assery.

This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday.


I spent the last forty minutes typing a great post.

A thoughtful post, a post where I took a good hard look at myself and my habits and my situation.  A post where I leveled with myself about some hard truths.  A cruel post where I questioned what I was really about with this whole blarg and my writing and my life.

And I went to post this post and WordPress ate it.  No auto-saved draft anywhere in my site that I can see it.  Nothing there when I scroll back through my history.

And it’s kind of funny that I’m sitting here now shouting into the void that tomorrow I’ll remake this post, because the post itself was all about not making excuses and getting the goldfingered work done even when life takes a steaming dump on your plate.

But it really is almost three hours past the time when I should have been in bed, and the kids will be up in oh, less than six hours, and I just don’t have it in me to go through that again tonight.  Maybe I’ll find it in the meantime.  Maybe it’ll be better if I rewrite it tomorrow.  In the meantime, it’ll just have to wait.


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