It happens. Momentum fades and despite your best intentions, nothing seems to get done. Sometimes it can be a result of writer’s block. Sometimes it can be marked up to burnout. Sometimes, more than anyone really likes to admit, outside influences compete for time and attention. Regardless of the reason, at some point in time any pursuit or interest will stagnate.
Why then, do we insist on making excuses for something we all experience?
You just thought to yourself, “Yeah, people who are most definitely not me totally do that!” Admit it, you did. If you still don’t think you do I’m not going to argue with you because after all, you’re reading something I wrote in the recent past and I don’t really have any way of knowing if you make excuses anyway. (Even though you totally do)
The excuses we use are often a mild denial. Sure, there are excuses like those so topical at the time of writing such as “It’s called winning” and anything about how anyone who looks or thinks different than you is a threat to that which is truly right, but these are not the excuses I refer to. These are in fact delusions. The excuses I refer to here, by comparison, are milder and more believable distortions of fact like “I’m just really busy this week”, “I’ve got nothing to say”, and the classic “I’ll just make up for it (insert point in the near future here).”
If we look at the times in our past when we’ve used these lines on ourselves or others (You’re thinking of one! Hah! I knew it, you faker!), any of us will be hard pressed to find a time where accepting or believing those lines has directly contributed to actually accomplishing a related goal or task. It doesn’t really matter if we’ve used these excuses to make ourselves feel better or to get those around us off our backs, the benefit is usually both minimal and fleeting.
It would be easy to give advice here along the lines of “Just suck it up and do it,” but that particular strategy is one I hold myself to, and I still struggle with avoiding the issue by creating easy reasons. If you, the reader, are interested in advice though, I guess I can try to help. The way I try to handle it is to think about excuses as a natural draw toward the path of least resistance, and that in order to keep moving forward without moving off track is to remind myself constantly not to distort reality. Not to myself, not to those around me.
If you’ve admitted to yourself at this point that you’re an “excuser” (and even if you have not), go forth and remember to take an extra moment to think about it next time it would just be so easy to cop out.
Good luck with that stagnation, though.