by Rich Keller
We don't like to do things. Oh, don't give me that look! You truly enjoy cleaning the gutters, or pulling weeds, or sitting for three hours at your child's piano recital? Really? Um, would you like to come by my house and do those things?
We can talk about the terms later. In the meantime ... Most of us don't like to do things, even when they're usually enjoyable. Writing is one of those things. So many people love to put stories together, to build worlds, to construct and deconstruct characters. Yet, as they near their writing pad or keyboard, a force field blocks their path. Synapses fire inside their heads while they contemplate the design of a few more chapters or to re-grout the shower. In the end, the Force Field of Excuses wins out.
Here's the thing ... you need to break through the force field at all times.
Think of the many goals you wanted to achieve throughout your life. Now, think about the never accomplished ones. Did excuses overwhelm your spirit so much that it gave up? Okay, going to jail for stealing the Crown Jewels was a legitimate excuse your brain put together, but what about the law-abiding items you wanted to take care of? It wasn't a matter of safety which halted you. It was a plethora of excuses from your nagging helicopter ego.
Excuses are nothing but band-aids. They're like a corporate bigwig saying they'll run an idea "up the ladder" or a politician telling constituents they'll "kick the can" down the road so someone else picks up the problem at some point in an undetermined future. Pile up the excuses and the ideas you proposed in them become the primary focus of your life. In other words, you eventually enjoy grouting tile and cleaning gutters. And where does your creativity go? Most like down a virtual drain, up a ladder, or in a can.
Life is not about the gutters, or the tile, or the other little things the Force Field of Excuses offers you. Rather, life is about enjoyment, passion, and love of your craft. Should you feel the force field start to come down, grab your writing materials, slam the front door, and head to a neutral destination where the flow of creative energy keeps the excuses at bay. Oh, and a place where they won't ask you to rake the leaves.