No new writing yet, but I did minor edits on the first 12,000 words of my MS. I’m working 48 hours this week, so we’ll see how much writing gets done!

Sometimes when I’m in the midst of my hectic schedule, I lose sight of what’s a viable reason to skip my writing commitment for the day, and what’s just an excuse. So, I’m making a troubleshooting list that I can turn to when I feel one of those old excuses coming on.


PROBLEM #1: You’re too tired.

SOLUTION: Do some jumping jacks, run up and down the driveway, or take a nap if you can wake back up and be productive afterwards.


PROBLEM #2: Things have gotten awkward between you and your scene, so you’re avoiding it.

SOLUTION: Skip it and move on to the next. Write a summary with the key plot points or elements, and then move on. Whatever you do, don’t lose momentum.


PROBLEM #3: Your manuscript scares you.

SOLUTION: It’s okay. Take pride in the knowledge that failure is the first step toward success. That sounds like a motivational poster, but it’s true. It’s not “succeed or fail.” It’s “fail until you succeed.” And then fail again. They are the yin and yang of the creative process and work best in tandem. So push through the fear to tap into the adrenaline rush of extreme sport, full contact, high-impact creation.


PROBLEM #4: Your characters have taken the road less traveled and are straying from your outline.

SOLUTION: Follow the trail. Your outline is a map, not a blueprint. Just don’t lose sight of the ultimate destination.


PROBLEM #5: Stinkbugs have infested your workspace and are dive-bombing you. (My fellow southerners know exactly what I’m talking about!).

SOLUTION: Cart your laptop down to the basement and write there.



  1. Your spouse has just returned from out of town.
  2. Your child is sick and/or had you up the night before and you’re too exhausted to think
  3. There’s an opportunity for some much-needed fellowship, or quality time with family
  4. Your well has run dry, and it’s time to prime the pump.
  5. When you’ve achieved your goals early and are celebrating!


Anyone else have their go-to excuses? Share!

2 thoughts on “TROUBLESHOOTING

  1. Being too tired is a HUGE problem for me. Tiredness is a side effect of my medicine, but it doesn’t usually bother me too much if I was able to sleep at night. Then again, if I do feel tired I’m never sure whether it’s genuine tiredness, side-effect, or my brain wanting to avoid writing.

  2. This is absolutely great. I need me my own trouble-shooting list. I have so many excuses it’s not funny. Sometimes I feel like I should tie myself in my chair to keep from wandering off to get something to eat, play with the dog, look out the window in the backyard (even though I have a great view of the front yard from my computer). I do need to get up and walk around every half hour or so or I get too stiff from sitting, but then the evil me keeps me from going back in my office. I will definitely work on my own list – yea, coz that will be another way to avoid working on my WIP. Oh, oh.

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