Excuses, Excuses

The other day at the gym I told my trainer I couldn’t do a certain leg exercise because my rotator cuff was hurting. I pointed to my leg and made a sad face and everything. He sighed. “Kerri, your rotator cuff is in your shoulder, not your leg. Do the exercise.”


We’ve all done it. Made excuses. Sometimes they are better than others. But hey, in my defense, I was an English major not a doctor! Note to self: must do more research for lies excuses. 

Regardless, we’ve all made up excuses. Why right now is not a good time to quit smoking, lose weight, go to the gym, get out of a bad relationship, call that old friend, etc.

For writers, the proclivity to come up with excuses seems to be multiplied. Maybe I should take a little break to regroup because:

–          I didn’t final in that contest

–          I  got rejected from that publisher

–          I  got a form letter back from that agent

–          I’m just not good enough

The closest I’ve ever come to giving up writing completely happened a few years back. After a brutally harsh rejection, the idea that I might not be cut out for this business took root. Luckily, I pulled through that crisis. But I realize now that I’ve been giving myself way too many outs, too many excuses to take breaks. See above, I’m obviously not even clever about it.

After all, taking a three month break after losing a writing contest does not help anyone. Maybe somewhere in the scary back recesses of my mind I think that I’m really sticking it to those who’ve rejected me, but ultimately I’m just hurting myself.

While I agree that in writing, or life, there are times you desperately need a break to regroup. But there are also the times that you have to push through. Okay, maybe not if you’ve had a killer foot pain that leads to plantar fasciitis. But if you make an excuse every time something doesn’t go in your favor, pretty soon you’ll never get it done. And eventually you start making up stuff about your rotator cuff. Trust me, that doesn’t end well.

Tell me, what’s the last excuse you made?

30 thoughts on “Excuses, Excuses

  1. Hey there, I think you should take “Kerri who lies about her rotator cuff because she doesn’t know any better” and transform her into a character in a book. I like that girl. She’s my hero 😉

    1. Oh, and I also meant to add that I have no wiggle room with excuses this month. I’m expected to write at least 2,000 words a day for my bootcamp team. Ay chihuahua!

      1. …although there is this poll circulating around on twitter that is begging me to go and vote for the top country cuties so that’s pretty darn important I’d say…

        1. I say, just do it, Carlene. Country cuties polls are important. Plus, you’re MY hero!

  2. LOLing at the rotator cuff story. But your post reminds me of one of those little Facebook posters going around” When you want to do something, you make time. When you dont, you make excuses.

    I love that saying and it gets me motivated to write, get to the gym, deal with the mt everest of papers on my desk…etc..

  3. Oh wow. I make excuses all the time. I can think of three I made just yesterday, as relates to my writing, exercise, keeping in touch with friends. (“My brain is fried,” “I ‘m tired,” “I need to spend time with my family.”) The thing is, all three of these statements were partially true at the time — which was why they made such good excuses. I could tell myself they weren’t an excuse, even though they are.

    1. There are excuses that truly are important – especially spending time with your family and friends. But when you start missing out on the gym due to a paper cut… yeah, we know what you’re doing! 😉

  4. Kerri, I remember the day you broke down. I remember how upset you looked, how defeated you seemed, and how disappointed, and scared, you sounded while talking to other people in the office. The Kerri today that talks about her writing is nothing like that Kerri. She’s confident. She’s assertive and most importantly she’s happy and having fun. You should be proud of everything you’ve accomplished since that moment and everything you are about to accomplish in your writing career.

  5. HAHA, well at lease you did not pull your zyphoid process 😉 So, here is some food for thought… What if your excuse is just as productive. Say you need to complete a financial report but also need to clean your house. Both need done so why not clean first… I mean, cleanouting those drawers or catch up on a little TV is one less to-do. hmm, guess I should get back to work…

    1. Whatever floats your boat. But you do need to watch out for that pesky zyphoid process!

  6. Hmmmm, Danielle, I like the way the way you think. Right now I need to get my house in order, BUT I must reply to this post. I need to get to my taxes, BUT I must clean my house. I should go get Easter groceries, BUT I have clothes to wash. I should do some filing, BUT I never get to watch daytime TV. Wait, I better make some lists…………

  7. This morning I used the excuse of a blister I got yesterday running the Cherry Blossom 10 miler as a reason not to go to the gym and lift this morning. Pretty sure my foot and my arm muscles are not related (like rotator cuffs and hips :)).

    1. Since I was an English major I choose to accept that the foot and arm muscles are one and the same. No??? 😉

  8. Kerri,
    I laughed out loud at your “sad face and everything” story! How funny! Maybe it’s all the funnier because I know you and can just see that sad, pouty-lip look. 🙂
    I make up excuses every single day. Every.Single.Day. I’m so good at them that I barely recognize them as excuses anymore. That’s when you know you’re really good at them. LOL. I never use excuses to avoid things for my family or friends. Just for myself. I know I do it because I’m avoiding things I don’t want to do for myself, but, oh well. It’s like a 12-step process. The first is admitting you have a problem. What to do about it is the hard part. 🙂

  9. Since I made excuses all weekend not to go to the gym, I’ll just go hide now… didn’t get any writing done either… but sonny-boy and new girlfriend were coming for dinner. It was an emergency!

    I vacuumed the living room rug during “60 Minutes” last night – 18 hours after they left. We’re ready for company now, thanks so much.

    1. Well that’s something. My living room rug desperately needs to be vacuumed!

  10. Oh man…. excuses are my favorite! They go hand in hand with procrastination, my other demon. My latest excuse combines both… my laptop is broken and needs a factory restore (an excuse to why I haven’t finished my road trip book’s first draft yet). I’ve been procrastinating getting everything off the laptop and wiping it clean so I can get on it, already. You’ve inspired me, lady! 🙂

    1. You HAVE to finish that!!! I can’t wait to read it! Yeah, no excuses for you, missy! 😉

  11. OMG Kerri! You just about made me spew diet coke across my laptop when I read your little rotator cuff story. LOL!

    You’re right though, we all do it. My biggest current offense involves not writing as a form of self-sabotage. Come on, who knows what I’m talking about? How about that story that you have been taking forever to finish because you know that when you finish it… you have to submit it and risk the rejection of someone telling you it isn’t good enough. So, therefore, I don’t have time to write because… I need to clean my house, spend time with my family, check my email, catch up with friends, spend WAY too much time on loops or facebook, go to the grocery store, the dry cleaners…

    Thanks Kerri for slapping me upside the head with a reminder to focus on what’s important.

    1. About to go to the gym. Better start stretching my rotator cuff now. 😉

  12. I pretend that peeps don’t have any calories. I mean they are so scrumptious after all! Sometimes pretending is not an excuse. It’s just an avoidance tactic.

  13. Besides making me laugh, your post also made me think about how excuses take many forms when it comes to writing in particular. Sometimes, I actually choose to do more work, work (the JOB), than write – because that’s just easier. In the last year, I’ve worked hard at cutting back on the excuses that keep me from finishing a manuscript. But they creep up on me. One of my classic excuses is that I had a hard day at work and deserve at night off. Can I tell you how easy that night off can become a week off? A month? So I stopped thinking of writing as time off from work. It’s my second job. I still slip up, but for me, keeping it business, is helping to keep me in front of the computer working on my book(s). Great post! You are amazingly candid. Love it.

    1. Oh great, Denny. Now you pull out the guilt factor. And here I was, just sitting down with a huge bag of pretzels for a nice hour (or two or more…) of trolling the ‘net. I can’t even blame the pre-Easter-break silliness at school today???

    2. Denny-Mermaid, your comment reminded me of the gym. I feel like if I lighten up and take one night off from the gym, I’ll keep doing it. Turns into a week, into a month, etc.

      But we can do it!!! No more excuses!

  14. I always love reading your somewhat quirky outlook on life! Excuses- for me I can always seem to put off the project until the last minute! Any excuse in the books works- lately I can’t seem to get enough of the outdoors – so everything inside must wait until the rain chases me inside- then I look around and a nap seems the “right” thing to do! I excuse myself!!

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