41 excuses for not writing v. 3 reasons to write

Excuses for not writing

  1. It’s too late to start now. I’m too tired.
  2. It’s too early. I can’t think straight.
  3. I haven’t got my creative head on just now.
  4. I need to cook the dinner.
  5. I need to shop.
  6. I need to clean.
  7. I need to go to work.
  8. I need to reupholster the chaise longue.
  9. I’ve run out of ideas.
  10. I have too many ideas – I don’t know where to start.
  11. It’s just not flowing today.
  12. Everything I write is rubbish.
  13. I’ll never get it finished anyway.
  14. Who’s going to want to read something I’ve written?
  15. Who’ll publish it?
  16. Who’ll buy it?
  17. And even if I did finish it, I couldn’t go out in public and sell it to people.
  18. How can I possibly write anything original when there are so many books out there already?
  19. And how would I know if my idea is original when I’ve read so many other books?
  20. Is there even any point in my writing it, when there are so many books in existence already?
  21. What if I think it’s good and everyone else thinks it’s rubbish?
  22. I haven’t got my laptop.
  23. I haven’t got a pencil.
  24. I haven’t got paper.
  25. It’s too noisy.
  26. There are too many people around.
  27. There’s no flat surface to write on.
  28. People keep asking me when I’m going to be finished.
  29. I’ll never be finished because it will never be as good as all the books I love.
  30. I’ve tied my plot up in knots and I have no idea how to solve them.
  31. I’ve realised there’s no actual plot in the 80,000 words I have written.
  32. I am supposed to be writing one thing but all these other ideas keep me up at night.
  33. Who am I writing for anyway?
  34. Isn’t it incredibly self-indulgent to think that anyone wants to know what I have to say?
  35. Somehow I’ve forgotten how to make my characters talk like actual human beings.
  36. Do real people nod and shrug as much as characters in books?
  37. I’ve changed my mind about the style of my book and I’m going to have to rewrite 40,000 words before I carry on.
  38. But what if I’m wrong and the style’s fine, and I waste days rewriting?
  39. I think I’ve fallen out of love with my characters.
  40. You’re supposed to write in a clear genre, aren’t you, to make it easy to market your book? But I’ve no idea what the genre of my book is.
  41. I know what happens at the end, but I can’t work out how to write it in a satisfying way.


Reasons for writing

  1. That moment when the story’s coming faster than you can type.
  2. That moment when you’re so excited about your story that you go around telling people about it all the time.
  3. That moment when you read back something you’ve written and it’s just exactly right.


Claire Watts writes and edits fiction and non-fiction for children and young adults. Her latest YA novel is How Do You Say GOOSEBERRY in French?

There’s a giveaway for Claire’s book running until June 1st 2016 over on Goodreads. Click here to enter.

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