Story Percolator: The “I Don’t Have The Time” Excuse

“I don’t have the time.”

How many times have you used that excuse over the years?

I’m embarrassed to say I’ve used it most of my adult life. When I was a kid, I never offered that phrase up as an excuse. Because if I wanted something bad enough I just did it. No fear. No worrying about the future consequences.  If it was important enough – I got it done.

Especially writing. Nothing kept me from writing my stories.

After I turned 25, the Evil Fear Fairy came down and sprinkled Procrastination Dust on me as I slept. If I ever see that fairy again I’m going to squash her with my shoe.

It’s taken me a long time to figure out that not writing isn’t really a time factor but rather a fear factor.

What could someone possibility fear from writing?

  1. Knock them out, drag them out failure. No one likes the story or screenplay. It’s humiliating – it makes you cry.
  2. Holy hell – lots of people like it and now they expect something even better next time. It’s stressful – anxiety ensues.
  3. Bite me Batman – my writing successes caused me to alter my life. Change dammit there’s change! It’s unknown – that’s scary.

Two out of the three fears have to do with success – not failure!

But all fear starts SOMEWHERE. You DO NOT wake up one morning and think – oh hell no, I can’t write that!

In 2nd grade I wrote a 2 person play about a fairy princess. I had it all worked out – even the costumes. My ballet costume was going to be the fairy princess dress even though instead of the pretty dress with flowers like most ballet classes got we had white with blue dots spattered all over it. But I needed the show to go on.  And it almost did – until my principal pulled me into the office and asked me if my play was a class-sanctioned production. When I told her no – she closed down my production and took away use of the auditorium! Evil woman.

I showed her – I put it on in my back yard.

That was the root of my fear – 2nd grade. I buried it and kept moving forward. The thing with buried feelings – they fester. Eventually you have to find the root – deal with it – and allow it to get the hell out of your life.

So if you are putting off crafting the next best-seller or Oscar-worthy script because you don’t have “time”, ask yourself…

What do I have to fear?

AND

Where is the root of that fear?

Deal with the answers to those two questions and I can bet that you will then find the time to write.

How do YOU answer the two questions above? Let me know in the comments below & let’s discuss!

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