Whether you are a freelance writer, a fiction writer or both you probably have times when you don’t get a lot of writing done. Because let’s face it, life gets in the way and most of us harbor a certain amount of guilt in being writers— because we do it at home and often in pajamas, maybe it just doesn’t seem like real work. But the guilt goes both ways, we also can feel guilty for not writing. For not getting in our precious writing time because if we don’t, how are we ever going to write that best seller or become one of the top copywriters in the country, or the next awesome indie writer?
I don’t know about you but I have a whole list of ‘reasons’ why I didn’t write today. (Not that anyone is keeping track of my writing schedule but me.) Perhaps like you, my inner taskmaster demands explanations for these writing lapses and I’ve developed a list that you may find helpful too:
I didn’t write today because…
- It’s just too damn hot.
- It’s just too damn cold.
- My doctor told me I am allergic to blank pages
- My dog had a weird eye thing and I had to figure out why.
- I had to catch up on Facebook.
- I got paid today and needed to buy things.
- I looked fat in my jeans.
- I’m too damn tired.
- My mind is a sieve.
- I started my diet and couldn’t focus.
- I needed to work out because my ass has gotten too damn fat from all the writing.
- There was a new episode of Master Chef that I had to see.
- I had to go to Starbuck’s and eavesdrop on conversations because I forgot how to write dialogue.
- Writing is hard.
- My story idea needed to percolate more.
- My character is going through a mid-life crisis and I thought I should let her work it out on her own.
- I have writer’s cramp.
- I have writer’s block.
- An editor was mean to me.
- An agent turned me down.
- Zelda talked me into going to a Zumba class.
- I deserve a break for finishing that short story.
- I was looking for a real job.
What’s your excuse for not writing?
How about you, what’s your favorite excuse for not writing? Leave it in the comments and let’s all have a good laugh and then get back to that blank page, eh?
My friend Jenny sent me this cartoon from the 1930′s – gives one pause, I must say.
What do you think, is history repeating itself?
Have you ever been in such a mind-numbed state that coming up with a menu for breakfast is a major accomplishment? Yep, that’s me lately. Usually I have so many thoughts and ideas traveling at warp speed between my ears that have to tell the voices to quiet down under threat of a time out. So many plans that my desk is covered with little index cards and post-its with bits of brilliance just waiting to be developed into a story, a post, an article, a poem – many of them unreadable when I get back to them. ‘Let’s see is that an m or an n?’
And the condition seems to come on without notice or preamble. Suddenly you just can’t think, you have no ideas and forget about having a conversation with anyone. However, over the years I have come up with a list of signs that I am heading toward brain death and thought I’d share in the hopes that maybe you can see it coming and do something before total flat line sets in.
You might be heading for brain death if:
1. Somebody hands you money and you say, “No thanks, I’m full.
2. You start nodding in agreement while listening to an Obama speech.
3. You regard your pet dog, cat, goldfish, iguana as one of the smartest people you know.
4. You believe that spending money you don’t have will increase your net worth.
5. You think that walking up a flight of stairs cancels out that slice of death by chocolate cake you just ate.
6. You believe reality shows are real.
7. You religiously post your score for online scrabble on face-book every day.
8. You start to feel ill if you don’t visit face-book and twitter 25 times a day.
9. You go into a panic when you can’t answer your cell phone by the second ring.
10. You think Jon Stewart is a brilliant political commentator.
11. You intend to spend the next two weeks reading every one of Sarah Palin’s emails.
12. You want to see the picture of Wiener’s wiener.
13. You’re concerned about the welfare of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan or the Kardashians.
14. You feel actual physical pain when you turn off your computer, your television or your cell phone.
15. You turn down a date with a perfectly nice guy because you’re saving yourself for Hugh Jackman.
If these or any similar signs begin to manifest in your life, you may be in serious trouble. You may be able to remedy the situation by taking a walk, having a conversation with a real person in actual English, eating a meal that does not contain food coloring, chemicals and flavor enhancers, or reading a book. Remember a mind is a terrible thing to waste.
Well it’s Friday which means the weekend is just a few hours away. Why not have some fun and create your own motivational poster. Here’s mine:
Hat tip – Zelda (of course)!
Well it had to happen sooner or later, didn’t it? SuperMan is officially a one-world-order-global warming-UN loving- drone. I think super heroes everywhere should be shaking their heads and rolling their eyes. Don’t you? I mean seriously what other country would super heroes have come from? Russia, China, Iran? Come on folks, superhero-dom is uniquely American – there is no other government on Earth that would stand for it, is there?
I had to laugh though, that StuporMan decided to make his announcement at the UN – maybe he’s more assured that he won’t get beaned with some rotten tomatoes there? Could be. Oh well, Stupor Man go and be free and live in the one world order of mediocrity – in fact, take all your p.c. friends with you – we Americans won’t mind one bit.
Seems to be the story of my life these days. H.T. Zelda.
Apparently the EPA now regulates milk spills – does that cover baby throw-up?
Why would apparent Mubarak supporters threaten Christiane Anampour based on her being and American when she is British?
Obama hearts Reagan? Really? So the biggest dem in world loves the old man, warmonger, idiot, economy wrecker? Nice try Time Mag but this makeover isn’t going to stick. And why do Democrat presidents keep channeling past presidents? Out of ideas?
Great the TSA agents have the nod to unionize – now we’ll never get rid of them.
McCain has officially lost the last piece of his mind.
So what would really happen if the government shut down for a few days? We’d get fewer laws passed? Less Obama speeches? No Robert Gibbs on the news? Sounds like a win-win to me.
Chuck Schumer apparently didn’t attend the reading of the Constitution on opening day of the new congress.
Democratic – adjective. Democrat – noun. It is the Democrat party, not the democratic party.
It’s really snowing in Texas. Damn that global warming!
How can Verizon call its new phone and iPhone – isn’t that what Mac calls theirs? Now there are two iPhones?
If the president can get a kill switch for the internet, can internet users get a kill switch for the government?
Can’t wait for this movie to come out – should be pretty appropriate about now.
Once again, we are on the precipice of a new year and the predictions are coming in fast and furious. In just a quick perusal I found that people are predicting everything from an intentional Republican strategy of maintaining terrible conditions to a live suicide by a politico on TV. Never-the-less I will share my predictions for the coming year, if for no other reason than to entertain and amuse.
Writer Chick predicts that in 2011….
1. Obama, at a loss for winning phrases and a decent speech writer will turn over the State of the Union address to Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. After Obama excuses himself to go to party, his stand-ins will tout the merits of higher estate taxes and zero population growth policies and detail the positive impact they will have on the still floundering economy.
2. Julian Assange will file a personal injury lawsuit against his ‘enemies’ for leaking personal and private information about him. Stating that when it comes to leaking information about him, such actions are immoral and unethical and he has been irreparably damaged by the leaks.
3. Despite record breaking rainfall in California the ‘water police’ will begin issuing tickets to Californians who water backyard gardens, house plants and tiny lawns. Although those growing medicinal marijuana will be exempted from such citations.
4. Six months into his new term as governor, Jerry Brown will surreptitiously start a recall campaign to have himself removed from office and replaced by a Republican. When the sh*t hits the fan Republicans will be blamed and the Democrats will appear to be the victims of the whole mess.
5. First Lady Michelle Obama will publish a new children’s book called, A children’s guide to the new living, breathing constitution. Amendments Mrs. Obama will encourage children to lobby for include:
a. The right to be force-fed vegetables
b. The right not to be fed fast food
c. The right to sue and blame your parents for everything you do that is wrong and irresponsible.
6. During an enhanced pat down, a TSA agent will cut her finger on a bobbie pin in a female passenger’s hair. The cut will require an extra large band aid and the TSA will subsequently declare that all hair pins & accessories to be potential weapons and prohibit passengers from bringing them on board. Individuals donning toupees, wigs and hair extensions will be forced to remove the hair pieces for special scanning before being allowed to wear them on board an airplane.
7. A new spate of Wikileaks documents will reveal:
a. Homeland Security Chief Napolitano is really a man
b. That Nancy Pelosi hasn’t had a heartbeat for years
c. That George Soros and Warren Buffet are twins separated at birth
8. Israel will finally get fed up with all the grief it gets and wipe Iran off the map.
9. American companies will make a mass exodus from China due to new global warming taxes extended only to American business concerns and will return their manufacturing to America, where at least people speak English.
10. In a total twist of irony, Oprah Winfrey will challenge Obama for the Democrat nomination for 2012.
11. The 112th Congress will evict the UN for years of non-payment of rent and sell the building to Donald Trump who will have his “Apprentice” contestants compete to re-purpose the building.
12. Science will discover that in fact there is life on other planets and living right here on Earth. The extraterrestrials who are like us will be found to be working for Congress.
13. Facebook will obtain eBay, Skype, Twitter and all other major social media platforms. Shortly after the acquisitions the government will sue Facebook for monopolizing social media and force a break up of the conglomerate – after levying extensive fines.
14. Google will enter the political arena with a new and progressive political pay per click advertising platform, among the unique features offered with this program will be a gps locating system that can isolate heretofore unknown voting blocs.
How about you, what are your 2011 predictions?
Back in the olden days when nobody protested Christmas displays or tried to sue people for saying Merry Christmas, or when Christmas trees weren’t considered a blight to the future of the planet, there was a cute little song called, “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.”
Ah, simpler times when the desire to have those important two front chompers in order to sink into the holiday dinner that was high in fat, sugar, cholesterol, calories and flavor. I miss them, don’t you?
And too, our wants are different now. If we are doing bad, we probably just want gas that is less than three bucks a gallon, or not be singled out in the security line at the airport by some lonely groping TSA agent. If we’re doing okay, we’re not sure what we want because we have grown accustomed to buying everything and anything our little heart desires. We own every gadget, media invention, and movie known to man—perhaps upgrading to a 60 inch plasma would be nice?
People complain about the commercialism of Christmas as if that is a new concept, but really if you watch old Christmas movies, you see that in 1947 they were complaining about it then too. Don’t believe me? Watch Miracle on 34th Street and you’ll see the teenage Santa wannabe Alfred say, “There is a lot of bad ism’s floating around this world and one of the worst is commercialism.” So that is nothing new, really. And frankly, I don’t see all that much wrong with it. Commercialism is what makes and sells things that we apparently want. Commercialism provides jobs. Commercialism produces movies, cell phones, music, television shows, automobiles, and every other material good, service and benefit we desire – so maybe we should stop blaming commercialism for our own relentless desire for stuff.
But regardless of what Christmas means to us, whether it is strictly religious or more just that joyous, spiritual feeling or lighthearted fun we love about Christmas, we all want something for Christmas and this is what I want:
I want people to put aside their selfishness and let others observe the holiday as they wish (as long as explosives or mayhem is not involved)
I want Congress to quit using taxpayer money to act as selective Santa’s giving to some and taking from others. (Most of us already have parents)
I want to spend one more Christmas with my father who is deceased through some bizarre miraculous g-torsional time warp. (I know this is not possible but I still want it)
I want the people who hate and are offended by Christmas to spend Christmas week in Iran, China or Afghanistan so they can see up close and personal how they like living in a country where the government outlaws such things and possibly even things they like. (Perhaps then Christmas won’t seem so offensive to them after that?)
I want the president to refrain from signing anything into law for at least a month. (Call it a bill-free holiday for all Americans).
I want Americans to quit envying each other and to accept charity if given freely but not to expect it because someone else can afford it. (Just because someone has something you do not, doesn’t mean you are entitled to a piece of it.)
I want the media to report the news in an unbiased manner without injecting their opinions, ideology and prejudices. (Or to shut the hell up.)
I want everybody to quit trying to control everything and just let things be. (From the weather to what we eat—again, we already have parents and most of us have umbrellas and galoshes).
But more than anything I want us to be free, happy and grateful for all the many blessings we have.
How about you, what do you want for Christmas?
I don’t know about you but some of the weirdest thoughts I have pass through my mind during the Christmas season, such as…
1. Does my dog know it’s Christmas or is she simply traumatized by being dressed up as a reindeer? Can PETA sue me for that?
2. Is Rupdolph the red-nosed reindeer green enough? What kind of carbon footprint does a shiny red nose leave? Come to think of it, Al Gore’s nose seems pretty red.
3. Is Santa an equal opportunity employer? I mean how many of his reindeer are girls?
4. What would happen to Christmas if the elves unionized?
5. Will Santa need a federal bailout if the polar ice caps melt too much? Is he too big to fail?
6. Why do people shake Christmas packages to find out what’s in them? Are they just budding TSA agents?
7. Is Santa gluten intolerant? Will the 1st Lady’s food initiative outlaw leaving cookies and milk for a clearly obese individual (for his own good)?
8. When will some screwball politician propose a don’t ask, don’t tell policy for Christmas?
9. Why must banks refrain from displaying Christmas symbols because it shows a bias toward certain customers when the tellers speak spanish, chinese, russian and other languages toward certain customers?
10. Will the naughty or nice list be outlawed because it penalizes a group of disenfranchised citizens?
11. If Christmas displays can be shut down because it offends non-Christmas enthusiasts, why can’t mosques be shut down because it offends non-jihad enthusiasts?
12. If there is supposed to be a separation of church and state, why does the White House have a Christmas tree? Why do the administrative staff have Christmas parties? And why did the president of the United States abandon his own press conference to attend a Christmas party? And why is the first family going on Christmas vacation? (Oh yeah, and how much you want to bet that all federal employees get Christmas bonuses too?)
Anyway…what kind of random Christmas thoughts do you have?