We all do it.  At some point, we put more effort into making excuses for why we can’t write than we do actually writing.  How many are valid reasons and how many are nothing more than hot air?

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  1. I feel too exhausted to write.
  2. I’m feeling overwhelmed emotionally.
  3. I don’t know what to write about.
  4. There is just no time in the day.
  5. I’m too distracted by the internet to write.
  6. I’m distracted by video games, sports or TV and don’t want to write.
  7. My writing is terrible and I’m not in the mood to do it anymore.
  8. I have too many ideas and I don’t know where to focus my energy.
  9. I don’t know if this is what I want to write about.
  10. I would rather hang out with my friends, family members or spouse.

10 Reasons Why You Can

  1. Writing does not have to be a marathon event.  You don’t need to sit down for hours at a time in order to make progress.  If writing is something that you are truly passionate about, push yourself beyond the limits you think you have and when your body tells you that enough is enough, then you know you’ve truly exhausted yourself.
  2. Writing can be a form of therapy.  Put that emotion into your writing and use it to purge yourself of the overwhelming feelings.
  3. Write about anything that comes to mind.  The simple act of writing can help trigger inspiration.
  4. Again, you do not need to set aside long periods to write.  Write whenever possible; scribble down notes every chance you get.
  5. While the internet is important for research, you need to limit the amount of time you spend surfing the web.  Whenever possible, keep your writing time and your research time separate.
  6. If you have time to play video games, participate in sports or watch television, then you have time to write.  It comes down to prioritizing what is most important to you.
  7. Your writing will not improve without practice.  The more you write the better you get.  It is also possible that as your own biggest critic, you are being far too harsh on yourself.  
  8. You need to start somewhere.  When there are a multitude of ideas in your head, start with the one that is occupying the most space.  You do not need to focus all of your attention on one project at a time.  Make notes or draft an outline for some of the less pressing ideas so that you can reference them when you have more time to devote to them.
  9. You won’t know until you try it.  Writing has a way of evolving.  What we conceive does not always resemble the finished product.  If you make an attempt and you find that the subject matter really doesn’t appeal to you after all, you might find that the simple act of writing helped to spark a new, more appealing idea.
  10. The two things need not be mutually exclusive.  Write for your friends, family members or spouse.  Or better yet, write with them.  Having the support of those around you can be the biggest incentive to get the work done.
     What are some of the excuses you come up with for not writing?

     In school, we learn that in order to descriptively modify a verb, we add an adverb.  The adverb is used to modify a verb, adjective or other adverb to answer one of the following questions; how? how often? where? when? or in what way?  Most adverbs can easily be identified by their -ly ending, although not every adverb ends in -ly.

     In The Adverb Is Not Your Friend: Stephen King on Simplicity of Style, Maria Popova gives us some insight into Stephen King’s view on adverbs.  “Adverbs, like the passive voice, seem to have been created with the timid writer in mind…With adverbs, the writer usually tells us he or she is afraid he/she isn’t expressing himself/herself clearly, that he or she is not getting the point or picture across.”  If you don’t use an adverb to get your point across, how does the reader know things like the frequency or manner in which the action is carried out?  Simple.  The reader should be able to decipher this information for themselves from the prose leading up to the event.  If the preceding prose paints the proper picture, then the use of the adverb is redundant.

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     Stephen King likens adverbs to dandelions.  “If you have one on your lawn, it looks pretty and unique  If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day…fifty the day after that…and then, my brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely and profligately covered with dandelions.”  When trying to determine if or when to use an adverb, keep in mind, that simple is best and you want to use them sparingly.  “I insist that you use the adverb in dialogue attribution only in the rarest and most special of occasions…and not even then, if you can avoid it.”
     As writer’s we have to give our readers the benefit of the doubt that they will be able to figure out what we are trying to tell them without pointing it out.  “Fear is at the root of most bad writing.”  Don’t let your fear ruin your style.