”Don’t make excuses” – Saffron Bryant, Fantasy Author
Excuses are great things. Neat little shifts of the blame for our inability to do something to a cause outside of ourselves.
It wasn’t my fault that I didn’t do it. I was too exhausted after a rough day at work to put the time in. I had to give all my attention to the kids that whole weekend. Something came up. I couldn’t give it my best.
Have you ever wondered: If I’m making excuses more often than I’m making the effort to do my thing, is there a deeper reason behind my excuses?
Saffron Bryant had plenty of pretty good excuses for not writing her dream novel in her teens, a degree in biochemistry being one of the biggies. There’ll be plenty of time later anyway.
But a very, very close brush with death by cancer when she was nineteen years of age stripped that excuse away. Saffron discovered that there was no deeper reason for not working on her novel.
If she had no true idea when death would come for her, Saffron Bryant damn well did want to write that novel first.
I’ve been in a similar situation – on the excuses front, anyway. I’ve not had the experience of fighting a disease that directly threatened my very life. I’d taken a few punts at writing a novel, yet I couldn’t seem to finish.
“If you haven’t done something,” Saffron says, “it mustn’t be important enough to make time for.” And in my case, she couldn’t have been more right.
Every time I tried working on plot or structure for what I thought my vocation was, I’d get frustrated. Angry. And while I’d resent the things keeping me away from writing, it was less that I wanted to write a novel and more that I’d convinced myself that writing a novel was what I should do.
When I was finally honest with myself about whether I even wanted to write a novel, I let myself work on the things I really wanted to do, the things I do for their own sake, the things I only think of excuses for not doing after I’ve already done them.
So look at your excuses and ask yourself: Am I making excuses because I think there are other things I should be doing?
Or am I making excuses because there are things I’d rather be doing?
And if you answer “yes” to the latter – well, start on one of those things.
Want to hear more about how Saffron Bryant wrote her dream novel while battling cancer and studying a science degree at university? Listen to her episode of the Paid to Play Podcast!