Many have used it. Some use it too often. I’ll bet we’ve all heard others lay it out there. Personally, I have thought and even uttered these words aloud far too often.
“Life got in the way.”
With so many different flavors of this same, old excuse, I’ll admit I’ve put some of these to use as well.
“Work has been crazy”
“Other responsibilities took precedence”
“I didn’t have time to fit it in”
For the last couple of years I have had strong desire to write. Fiction, non-fiction, journalling and blogging have all played a part in this dream. I think about it daily, yet I don’t act. I assumed I could develop a good writing habit by blogging. Regularly blogging should be an excellent way to develop, practice and expand my writing abilities. The blog also provided the important opportunity to share my writing publicly in a relatively safe space. By choosing the WordPress community I knew my blog would gain some notice by other bloggers, a mostly positive and encouraging group in my experience, yet remain relatively hidden until I actively publicized my work. The initial likes for my posts were a great encouragement to continue. I attempted posting regularly, but for me this was not often enough to consider myself a blogger, and I could not find the time to draft, edit and post even weekly. Eventually the posts dribbled down to once a month before abandoning all but the idea of the blog.
Life got in the way.
And here is the thing, the Life that got in the way isn’t the life I dream of. The Life in my way is the life of requirements, of responsbilities, of duty. Dreams and desires don’t play much of a role in the LIfe that always seems to get in the way. But, they should!
Just because writing doesn’t pay the bills, keep the house clean and keep my family safe and secure, does not mean it is any less important than these other priorities. What writing does for each of us is very personal. It may allow us to express our inner most thoughts in a safe way that otherwise would remain secret forever. It allows us to share the stories in our heads bursting to get out that would likely never be told. It allows us to be creative when the rest of our life isn’t. Whatever your personal reasons are for writing, remember they are important, they should be priorities and, most of all, there should be a place for them in your life.
Someday I want to say, “hey, I was going to vaccum the living room, but life got in the way.” When I can apply this excuse to these required, yet uninspiring responsbiliites, I will know that the Life of this excuse is my life of writing.
For now, I have crammed this excuse in a box and hid it in the attic so I can be serious about my writing. It will take significant effort to keep the excuse secure. Strong excuses have ways of slipping out of the thickest box even when wrapped in several layers of chains and locks.
As I catch myself using any flavor of these excuses, I stop and ask myself, “Why?” What made the other items on my list so much more important than writing? What did I spend my time doing that stole my focus, but wasn’t a priority? How could I have managed my time and energy better?
It isn’t life that is in my way; it’s these excuses.
What is your favorite excuse keeping you from putting the time you want toward your creative pursuits? Please share your thoughts in the comments, below.