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Writing Excuses

I’m not talking about the podcast, although I did last week.

Nope, I’m talking about why here it is Tuesday afternoon and I don’t have a Tuesday blog post started. Like any activity writing comes with plenty of excuses not to do it. Perhaps only exercise comes with more.

So, in no particular order here some of my favorites.

I don’t have time. I mean, I have a day job. I have a wife and a girl. I have a D&D group. I have three cats, who to be honest should be the first item as the life, girl, and D&D players would tell you.

Except, I have to make sure I do the level of the day in not one, but two Simon’s Cat games. I read strange stuff on Wikipedia and comment on a blog or two. Using Ron Eds short sprints from 5000 Words Per Hour I could give up a couple of blog comments and one Simon’s cat game to get daily blog posts. Here I am trying for T/Th/Su.

I don’t write well. Well, I don’t. Sure, I’m better than people who don’t write at all, but that’s not saying much. Still, the thing I need to remember is the secret to writing, be it music, code, or prose, is to write. Write to completion. Then write something else.

I have nothing to say. Yeah, no one who knows me believes that.

I have no clue what I’m talking about. Okay, this one I can sell even to myself, unlike the nothing to say. There is pretty much no topic on which I don’t think I am clueless. It would be easy to call this impostor syndrome, but I think it is something else.

If I am interested in a topic, I pend a lot of time learning about it. A byproduct of this is I come into lots of people who know more about than I do. This gives me a skewed sample.

I realized this at my day job. If I look around my office, I think I’m competent in computer programming and mathematics, but by a slim margin. I don’t remember that we interview people for about one out of every thousand resumes. You don’t get to be here without the ability to program. There is also the 80/20 factor variation in study. Twenty percent of programmers (and I suspect other fields) are engaged in long term education and growth in the field. If you are studying your field on your own time after you establish your career you are in the top 20%.

I have less important things to do. How can this be an excuse? It is an idea called structured procrastination. My favorite task management method makes uses it.

Each of these is a reason I am writing a blog post last minute instead of having finished the three I have in outline. The reasons don’t all apply to all the posts, but all of them apply to at least one.

So, there we go, a convenient list of writing excuses. Apply them to whatever you want to do, but aren’t doing.

Or you can do what I intend and ignore them to get my characterization post done for Thursday.


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