10 Excuses Writers Use and How to Refute Them

Posted on October 14, 2013



We all make excuses for why we can’t do things. We might trick ourselves into thinking that these excuses are true, if we repeat them often enough. But in the end, they are just excuses. If we want to write enough, we will find a way to overcome each challenge we face. Do you have obstacles that are discouraging you now? Here is a list of some of the things you may have said to yourself, as well as ways you can counteract these negative thoughts when they latch hold of your mind.

1.     I can’t write.

You may struggle to write, but good writing is less about talent and more about practice. The question isn’t can you write well, but do you want to write well? If you do, you have enough motivation to practice every day, ask for advice, and maybe even take classes to improve. Yes, you can write.

2.      I don’t have time.

Everyone has time for the things they love, no matter how busy they are. You might have less time than some, but you can surely find 5-10 minutes a day to write. This excuse doesn’t have to do with the amount of spare moments in your day but, again, the amount of determination you have. Do you want to spend some of your free time writing?

3.      No one cares.

Maybe you truly haven’t found anyone who shows much interest in your book yet. Even so, now is definitely not the time to give up. Your book isn’t even finished and there are millions of people out there who haven’t yet had the opportunity to read it. Do you really think that none of your potential readers will be interested in what you have to say? If you’re really that discouraged, take time to discover your readership by either researching stories in your same genre or working on building a following via social media before your book is published. Your audience is waiting for you.

4.      I have nothing to say.

If you have a desire to write, you must have something to say. Is it worthwhile? If you are excited about it, then yes. Everyone has a story to share. None of your life experiences are identical to someone else’s. Your passions and beliefs are yours; your background is unique. No one else can share your story but you…and that means you have a wealth of information to draw from. What do you talk about with your friends and acquaintances? What gets you excited? Everyone has something to say.

5.      I’ll never finish.

You will never finish your book if you choose to stop writing. But if you choose to persist, you will eventually reach the end. Don’t get overwhelmed; take it one step at a time. Create a schedule if you need to.

6.      I’ll run out of ideas.

If you had enough ideas to fuel the inspiration to start a book, you’ll be able to keep coming up with ideas. Brainstorm about your book regularly. Keep everything fresh in your mind by frequently taking notes and writing as often as possible. If need be, don’t start the writing process until you have a clear outline or a strong list of ideas written down.

7.      I don’t know where to start.

If you’ve never written a book before, starting the process can be a challenge. Just remember, you can start writing wherever you want…beginning, middle, or end. If you feel at a loss or really desire advice, you can always research authors’ advice or join a writing group.

8.      No one will help me.

As a writer, you may feel like you’re alone, but you’re not. There are plenty of people out there willing to help, if you just ask. Not only will your friends and family likely support you, but also there are other resources just a click away on the internet. Editors, writing coaches, fellow authors—all these and more can provide motivation, advice, and feedback. There are even sites where you can post your in-progress work so you can obtain readers’ feedback as you write.

9.      I’m bad with grammar.

Poor spelling and grammar doesn’t mean that you can’t write. Even the best grammarians make mistakes when writing—that’s what editors are for. Don’t let minor issues like a misspelled word or misplaced punctuation discourage you from writing. It’s the content that should concern you. Polishing will be done later.

10.  I’ll lose interest.

If you’re truly afraid that halfway through your book you will run out of inspiration or desire to write, maybe you have chosen the wrong topic. Are you committed to finishing your book? Does your subject make you passionate? Do you really want to see your story published? If so, even the daily challenges of life will only temporarily distract you from your work. You will get back to it. If not, it wasn’t the right topic for you.

Next time you doubt yourself or become discouraged, don’t make excuses. Don’t listen to the lies your brain is feeding you. You can write and finish your story—if you want to. Combat the negativity with positive thoughts and keep writing!

Rachel Schade, Writer, Editor, and Publishing Coordinator, Asta Publications


Asta Publications has a long history of helping writers tell their stories and get published. Since 2004, Asta Publications has helped hundreds of authors bring their book concepts to life and we are ready to help you too! Our dedication to our authors is unmatched. We deliver first-class products and services that are accurate, high quality, and exceed our authors’ expectations.

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