What’s Your Excuse?

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Even though I’ve had ample time to write today, I haven’t even opened Microsoft Word. It’s just too darned hot to write. It’s 90 degrees outside, and since we don’t have air conditioning, it’s well over 80 in the house. I can’t wait until later when it’s supposed to cool down and the rain comes in.

Some people bask in the heat, but I’m not a fan of summer. These high temps leave me feeling short of breath. I’ve been having heart palpitations and I’m just exhausted.

So, that’s why I’m not writing.

I guess if I really wanted to write, I would. The truth is, I’m working on a rewrite and I’ve hit a stumbling block. I need to work things out in my mind before I move forward. I guess I could work on a different project, but for now I’m using the heat as my excuse to take a break.

I’ve heard from other authors who have a difficult time writing in the summertime. They’re hot, busy, have house guests, the kids are driving them crazy, etc, etc.

Do you have a hard time writing in the summer? Are you taking a break? What’s YOUR excuse?

19 thoughts on “What’s Your Excuse?

  1. No A/C? Oh my. Actually I get a lot of writing done in the summer because it’s so hot here that you have to be inside. I venture out to swim, but then back in again. Anything we do, we do in the early morning. Doesn’t cool off until after dark. Do enjoy the break, take a siesta!

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    • I try to get things done in the evening when it cools down – cleaning, laundry, sometimes writing if I still have energy. There are some days when it’s very pleasant, but yesterday was brutal. It’s supposed to cool down Wednesday. I can’t wait!

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  2. I love writing in the summer because I don’t have work in the summer. I get a lot more done. Plus, I work better in the morning so I get most if not all of it done before the heat officially sets in.
    Though I’m sorry that you don’t have AC. That’s no good. You don’t want to be near a hot laptop when it’s 90 degrees out.

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    • Ah, that’s wonderful you have the summers off. In some ways, I have more time in the summer because I don’t have to drop kids off at school or pick them up. But then there’s the house guests, so I guess it all evens out. Enjoy your writing time!

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  3. I don’t have a problem writing in the summer. On the extremely rare occasion I can’t be bothered to write I just say to heck with it. I’m going to the pub.

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  4. My most common excuse for not writing every single day (and it’s a weak excuse, I’ve been told) is that sometimes my hands don’t work right. Sometimes I literally cannot type, or hold a pen, or whatever else is necessary for the physical act of putting words on a page. During those times, I try to PLAN what I’m going to write when I’m next able to do so, but only writing is writing, so thinking about stories doesn’t count. *sigh*

    I “wrote” one of my first published short stories in my head while working at a summer job in a place that had no air conditioning, during a summer when temperatures were often above 100F and seldom below 90F during the day. The setting for that story was an icy planet. Coincidence? I think not! 🙂

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    • That’s great that you used the heat to inspire your writing. I would think that not being able to use your hands is a good excuse for not writing. Sometimes you just can’t do it. Thinking about stories IS part of writing. It helps to hash out the plot in you mind and maybe tackle some problems with the story.

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  5. I don’t like the heat and humidity of summer at all. A/C isn’t common or necessary where I live (New England). Writingwise I’m in the groove so 7 to 9 am is my writing time. I’m working on the novel or I’m blogging. When I’m stumped, my hand is moving across the paper — I do my first-drafting in longhand, and in my experience it’s the best way to get through slumps and blocks. Ideas and insights often come to me while I’m walking (my dog and I walk 3+ miles every morning and another 2 in the late afternoon or early evening — being an Alaskan malamute, he likes heat even less than I do).

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    • I’m in New Hampshire, so most days are pleasant, or at least bearable. But yesterday was hot!!! Morning is the time I’m getting ready for work and spending time with the dog. I prefer to write late morning (if I’m not working) or in the early evening when it starts to cool down. We didn’t get much relief yesterday until late evening. Your poor dog! I can understand why he doesn’t like the heat.

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  6. Oh honey I SO sympathise. Writing can be tricky at the best of times and it’s difficult to let the creative juices flow when you’re feeling hot, flustered and just plain exhausted. Try and keep cool sweetie and treat it as a meditative break. Hope things cool down for you asap. xxx

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  7. I think it’s sad that we all have to beat ourselves up if we don’t write something – or beat up on one another (like a previous commenter who said people told her her “excuse was weak”.) You know what, we’re independent so that we don’t have to make “excuses”. We write when we want, and don’t write when we don’t want, and to hell with anyone who says you have to write every day to be a “real writer”. If you only write one page a year, you’re still a writer (though it’s going to be slow going on that book, LOL!) so rather than “making excuses”, let’s all just say “I’m not writing today” (or “I am writing today”) and not bother trying to explain it to anyone. We don’t owe them anything. We don’t owe anyone anything. Heck, we don’t even owe ourselves a book if we don’t want to write it. All of this guilt and “real writer” stuff is just another way we box ourselves – an each other – in.
    (I am guilty of the excuse making/feeling pressured/self-shaming when I don’t write and have decided to quit it for my own sanity. I don’t need anyone else to validate whether I am a rel writer or not, so I don’t need to worry about whether my schedule matches up to their approval.)

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    • Amen. We all put so much pressure on ourselves. And then we hear advice from “experts” who tell us to force ourselves to write every day whether we want to or not. Why? What’s wrong with taking a break? I’m terribly guilty of putting pressure on myself. I would never tell another writer they aren’t a “real writer” because they don’t stick to a certain schedule, so why do I do it to myself? The pressure I put on myself is far worse than any pressure I feel from others. And guess what? It doesn’t help. Guilt doesn’t make me a better writer. It just makes me an unhappy one.

      Thanks for the reminder, Jo. I feel better!

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  8. Hi Tricia, I write early in the day because I’m so easily distracted as the day progresses. And I also believe it’s good to take a break from writing when you need it. 🙂

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