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The best excuses to not go for my big dream


I need to go walk my pet chicken.

Shoot, I only checked Facebook 12 times today. Better check in, just in case I missed someone’s fascinating update.

I wonder if there are any new recipes posted on the cooking blogs I follow?

There you have just a few of my procrastination excuses.

How about yours?

Please tell me I’m not the only one putting off some great project I know I’m destined to complete.

What is it for you? Starting an exercise plan? Cleaning out your closets? Volunteering for a charity?

For me, it is, are you ready for this? Writing a novel.

There I said it.

Yes, I believe I have a novel inside of me waiting to be born. I even have the plot and the characters. My book has a young woman looking for love, some shocking secrets behind the veil of network news. And yes, there is, of course, a pet chicken featured prominently in how the story unfolds. Hey, they say start out writing what you know.

So what’s the problem? It’s not like I don’t know I can write. Here I am with this column, I’ve published a nonfiction book. But fiction? Make believe? Now I’m stretching myself.

But truly, as my opening confession admits, my biggest obstacle is coming up with every excuse and distraction not to sit my bum down in the chair and write.

Wouldn’t you know, I might’ve stumbled across my secret sauce. I’ve come to find out that November is National Writing Month. Seriously, this is a real deal. See for yourself at NaNoWriMo.org. It’s the nonprofit that believes there is a novel in you, or me, or both of us. And they get thousands of wannabe writers to commit to write a novel, 50,000 words, during the month of November. That’s something like 2,000 words a day! How did I wake up a middle-aged person and have a term paper staring me in the face each day. And by choice?

Before you make hooray for me for going after my big dream, another confession. I actually knew about NaNoMo last year. Of course, I came up with some silly excuses not to do it. Remember the chicken?

The NaNoWriMo folks know my type, so they encourage you share publically that you are all in. So there you have it. My procrastination intervention is, actually, you. Now that you know about this, just think how shameful it would be for me to procrastinate and not finish.

I have two big trips to take in November and wait, blah, blah blah. No more excuses. I’m in! Tackling today’s 2,000 words as you read this. Thank you for holding me accountable. I don’t know if I can do this, but I know I can’t do it without you.

So that’s me. What about you? What are you putting off? How could the possibility of public humiliation get you over the hump?

Maybe you’re not ready to go after your big dream. Still in the excuse phase? Feel free to stop by. I have a pet chicken who could use a really good walk. Between you and me I actually have seven chickens who could all use a good walk. But that’s a story for another column, or perhaps, who knows, novel No. 2?


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