writing excuses procrastination

How to Not Write a Novel

For a while now, during the month of November, we’ve all decided to do this crazy thing together. On the surface it’s easy. We simply write a novel! In a month! But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. NaNoWriMo isn’t all song and dance and fancy pants. Apparently it’s hard work! Like, really hard work. I wouldn’t blame you if you had trouble getting yourself into that writing chair every morning. I mean, I love coffee more than almost anything else on earth and there are still days when I look at my coffee pot and just lack the motivation to make a pot of coffee. I mean, lifting the beans? Pouring the Water? Washing the...? No. Forget it. We both know that’s not happening.

But that doesn’t fly in November. We all decided that for this one month, we’ll forget about our excuses and just write the darn thing! Your excuses are no good here! It’s NaNoWriMo! You know what that means! It’s time to step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, inspiration!

And with those magical words the excuses disappear! Ha. Just kidding. There are always excuses. But we’ll deal with them. One at a time.

Excuse #1

I’m actually super hungry. I should go to Starbucks and buy a cranberry bliss bar. Or to Rite-Aid for some ice cream! Or, a Jamba Juice! I totally need a Jamba Juice. In fact, without a Jamba Juice in me, I will be unable to write for 5 minutes let alone a couple of hours .

Are you? Are you actually hungry? Then fine. Go buy food. I’m not stopping you. Have a whole ceremony about it! Tell everyone. Say to yourself “This Caribbean Passion will give me the fuel I need to write the Next Hunger Games!” But after you buy and eat the food, you better put fingers to keys or all the majesty of the cranberry bliss bar will be wasted. And Jane Austen will judge you.

judgy jane

Excuse #2

Okay well now I’m not hungry anymore, but while I was at Starbucks, I started thinking about that Taylor Swift song with the “starbucks lovers” and how I wanted to listen and sing along to that song on the entire car ride home, but I couldn’t find the cable that connects my phone to the car speakers, so it wouldn’t play, and this is a REAL PROBLEM. I need to spend at least 3 hours searching my room, my car, and the entire metropolitan area looking for this cable.

We both know you don’t need the musical accompaniment to sing Blank Space. You know all the words. You also know that the line isn’t even “starbucks lovers.” 

Excuse #3: Tokyo Drift

Fine. But then when I got home, I checked Instagram and…

Rookie mistake. And not Rookie like the perfectly pastel brainchild of one Tavi Gevinson, but Rookie like this is your first rodeo. Is it? Do you really think you can check Instagram regularly and get anything done?

Excuse #4

Maybe I can. You don’t know. Also, whatever, I checked instagram and saw that there’s a new episode of The Mindy Project on Hulu and Mindy needs me to watch it now! She needs my views! The Mindy Project can’t get canceled (again)!

Do you think Mindy got to where she is by making lame excuses? Mindy got stuff done! If you are really worried about her show, call a friend and tell them to watch it for you. I used to do that with my favorite shows. #WatchHappyEndings

Excuse #5

That was a great idea! I called my mom to tell her about Mindy and she told me about this book that she just finished called Six of Crows! She said it was insanely good and that I should read it! Which I should! And it’s basically research for my own novel. Since they are so similar.

Are they? How exactly are they similar? I thought you were writing a YA Romance about the glamorous love life of a young Effie Trinket. Didn’t you say it was called “Shut the Effie Up”? That doesn’t sound to me like it’s about crows.

Excuse #6

Reading is the most important part of being a writer! Everyone knows that. Plus, nowadays, it takes me no time at all to buy it! I just click and button and bam, straight on my phone. And also, Six of Crows isn’t even about crows! It’s sooo good. It’s about six misfits/liars/thieves, and one of them is a Grisha so she has powers and the other…

Wait… did you already read it? You were supposed to be writing!!! Jane Austen is judging you again. 


Excuse #7

That’s not Jane Austen. And so what if I read it. I read quickly. Whatever. I’m STARVING.

I give up. 

So, apparently writing is harder than I thought. But some of you guys have written and finished novels! Which is crazy. Like batsh*t insane. I can’t believe you guys are able to buy Jamba Juice, find your aux cables, answer your phones, keep up with TV and books... and at the same time, write your own stuff! It’s truly amazing. So tell me. Share your secrets with the non-Hufflepuffs of the world. Also someone probably should let me know if I’m legally allowed to write Effie Trinket fanfiction.

Tell us, Swooners, how do you stay focused during NaNoWriMo? Sound off in the comments!

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Summer O.

Summer O. works in School & Library Marketing at MacKids. She spends the majority of her free time being #cool …

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