As a teacher, I often find myself pondering the difference between an excuse and an explanation and usually I decide it is dependent on whether you are the one making the said excuse or not. That is you give your reasons for the lateness of your homework or whatever and they seem solid to you and you know that they happened therefore to you they seem like an explanation. To the person listening, they seem less reasonable. They are focused on whatever it is that you haven’t done and also do not know whether you are telling the truth so it becomes an excuse in their mind. The other thing is time. At first, it may be an explanation but when the work still doesn’t appear and more reasons are given, they quickly turn into excuses.
I feel a bit like this at the minute whenever someone asks me about the follow up to Shattered Reflections. I truly expected that I would have a finished product by now. And Choose Yr Future is close to being finished – at least to the point where I would have beta readers look at it. That is what is particularly annoying. This hasn’t been an easy year for me – my mother died in January – but I’m starting to feel frustrated with my lack of motivation. I can no longer accept my own explanations. I need to do something to get back into the writing frame of mind.
I sit down with good intentions. Today will be the day I get back on track. But then I stare at the screen or the page and nothing happens. I can’t concentrate. I’m too tired. I feel like it’s been a year of getting nothing done. No writing anyway.
It isn’t just emotional problems either. It’s the many jobs you don’t realise you will have to do. It’s the still running up to Newcastle all the time in order to sell her house, sort out furniture removals and countless other jobs that need doing. It’s feeling like you never have a moment to yourself. And when I do have the moments then I can’t be bothered to do much.
So it’s a new term and I’m in the process of sorting out new students to tutor so I should have a good idea of how much spare time I will have. I’m setting myself small goals, moving towards the bigger one of having a completed novel. And hopefully I will stop feeling like I’m making excuses to myself when I can’t get anything done. Wish me luck.