I just read an article on the Writer Unboxed website titled “6 Plausible Excuses for Not Finishing Your Novel During the Pandemic.” Great article. Funny and entertaining. I loved it.
One problem, though. Not one of the six plausible excuses in the article explained why I hadn’t finished my novel during the pandemic. So, I decided to come up with my own list, with one minor change. A friend told me the other day that since I’m still working on my book, I had “reasons” for not finishing it in 2020, not excuses. Okay, I’ll buy that. Let’s see if any of my “reasons” resonate with you.
Reason #1: “I wasted precious time looking for toilet paper and baking ingredients.”
During the early days of the pandemic, some items were hard to come by—toilet paper, flour, and yeast were the most problematic for me. I had to buy a 25-pound bag of flour because I couldn’t find anything smaller. (Does flour have an expiration date?) My son and I made anything we could think of that would require flour. Cookies, cakes, and biscuits. Oh my! Baking is hard work and left no time for writing a novel.
Reason #2: “If I’m going to bake, I might as well cook, too.”
Of course, if I was going to spend time baking new creations, it made sense that I would work on my cooking skills as well. I bought new gadgets—a crockpot/rice cooker combo was my favorite acquisition. So many things to do with that little gem! I spent hours searching for new recipes and even more time at the grocery store looking for ingredients I had never heard of before. Once again, there was no time to work on a novel. But the food was incredible!
Reason #3: “I’ve always wanted to have a podcast. No time like a pandemic to start one.”
I had no idea what I was doing, but it seems I’m not happy unless I’m working on a project that requires new skills. It required a lot of research, asking many questions of experts, and rounding up friends to help me with my endeavor. Again, no time for writing a novel. Oops.
Reason #4: “More people are reading. I should save them some money and create a boxed set.”
I packaged my first three novels into a boxed set and set the price as low as possible. Again, I’ve never done this before. It was new and different, and I love a challenge. The fact that doing something new takes up a lot of time, I didn’t get my novel written. Sad but true.
So, what do you think? Did any of these reasons (not excuses) sound familiar? Did I help anyone justify NOT getting their novel written in 2020? If not, what reasons (or excuses, if you prefer) kept you from getting the work done?
Tom Walker said:
ah, funny! I’ve heard from other authors that they didn’t get much written during the pandemic. Here’s a link that starts at timecode 17:52 in an Andy Weir interview where asked what he got written during lockdown –> https://youtu.be/ZHu0o28nhls?t=1072
Tom Walker said:
hmmm…the “start at 1072 seconds in” part of the URL in my previous comment didn’t work. Looks like WordPress tacked on a “%C2%A0” after the ?T=1072 directive, which apparently overrides the timecode. So you’ll have to manually skip to 17:52 if interested. 🙂
Debra Ann Dotson said:
Thanks, Tom! I feel better now. If Andy Weir had problems writing during the pandemic, I guess I should cut myself some slack.