Tuesday, November 19, 2013

NaNoWriMo No Excuses

I haven't been giving my daily updates for more than a week, and frankly, I'm a bit ashamed. I started letting things get in the way last Saturday. Instead of getting up and getting right to writing, like I knew I should, I loafed around the house all morning, expecting to have all the time in the world. But then my sisters, who were in town visiting, called wanting to come see our new house. They informed me of a get together we were doing that afternoon, and soon, I found myself running from this to that with nary a moment of rest in between.

On Monday morning, after all the sisters-in-town excitement had subsided, my keyboard on my old computer flipped me the bird. The entire bottom row of keys stopped working from Z all the way the "? /" key. I couldn't even log onto my computer, because my password required some of those keys.

There it was, the perfect excuse to skip out on my writing duties. And I took that ball and ran with it. I ran so long with it that I scored several touchdowns, damnit.

Our donation drive from last month was a huge success, and we're really glad to be able to say that we were able to get that old computer replaced with a new one. It arrived yesterday morning. So, now I can get back to it. Thanks again to everyone who donated. You guys are the best listeners there are.

But now comes the part where I admit to the shame. While having a broken keyboard is a legitimate excuse for not writing, it's still not okay. I could have looked around until I found the keyboard that I can attach to my old Samsung tablet, and used that to write. I could have shouted angrily at my kids until they released our laptop from their clutches, and wrote on that. Hell, I could have gotten a damned paper and pencil and wrote with that. It wasn't a valid excuse, and I'm ashamed of my use of that excuse.

Have you ever heard of Maria Kang? This is her:

She put out this picture of herself on Facebook to try to encourage her followers to be healthy. Proving to them that having been pregnant a lot and dealing with really young children is not really a valid excuse. Of course, given the way our modern world works, she was attacked for doing such a thing. She was accused of fat shaming, and called a villain. Some people stuck by her side, understanding what she was out to do. It became one of those viral stories that landed on all the talk shows and so forth, so it eventually made its way to my attention too.

I don't know if it makes me a villain too, but I was inspired by her message. It's so damned easy to make excuses for yourself. "Hey, I can't be blamed for being fat, I have this thing that gets in the way of exercising and eating right..." But, in the end, most of those excuses aren't valid. I know it's true for me. I'm fat, because I allow myself to be fat, because I eat too much and exercise too little. I've even managed for short periods of time to win the battle, and dropped a lot of that fat. But I let my bad habits sneak back in, and gain it back.

And I'm similarly woeful when it comes to writing. I don't write, because I'm lazy. No excuse is good enough, at least not yet. I'm still completely able to write, I just don't because I'm lazy.

I think I need to feel that shame once in a while...maybe more than once in a while, so I stop letting my excuses get the better of me. I've got goals that would make me very happy if I achieved them. And no excuse, not a broken keyboard, not anything is good enough.

If what I want is important enough to me, no excuse is valid.

I only wrote 208 words while the keyboard was broken. I wrote them on a story that I've been working on slowly on a notepad. I should have completely finished that story in that time. It was the perfect chance, but I let my excuses win the day.

Today, I'll get back to it. Tomorrow, expect a new word count update, not a new discourse about my excuses that have kept me from fulfilling my goals.


  1. Big, I couldn't agree with you more. I am more than fat, and I don't think I should feel good about it. I understand what the Anti-shamers are trying to prevent, but I also think it can be taken too far. Real shaming is bad and should never be done, like the frat boy "pig night" crap where they see who can bring the fattest girl to the frat house and then mock her. That is humiliation. It's completely out of line and unacceptable. Bullying is bad. But trying to motivate people to be healthy and loose weight and not to make excuses is not shaming.

    In my case, I am fat. There is no getting around it (or me for that matter). It is not healthy. And if I don't do something about it, I will die younger than I want to or should. I have to live with that every day. Now, while I should be treated like a human being with feelings, I should not be coddled or made to feel like I should be stay fat. I need positive motivation to lose weight and keep it off. SO I'm with you, Big Anklevich. No. Excuses!

  2. I binge on things that are good for me, writing and taking care of myself and whatnot, but yeah, I could stand to have the same motivation year round that I manage in bursts. I haven't gotten to that point yet, but I'm working on it...

  3. Looking forward to today's word count update :)