There are good excuses. And there are bad excuses.
Good excuses are things like serious health issues, personal problems that can’t be avoided or your house suddenly combusting. I don’t mind good excuses.
Bad excuses are things like “I haven’t got time”, “I didn’t know what to do”, useless statements that generally mean you just didn’t get round to something because you’re lazy. I don’t like bad excuses, and for that reason, I’m not going to make any.
NaNoWriMo is in full swing now, two weeks in and I’ve still only written two chapters, just shy of 4,000 words. The chances of me completing the challenge at this point are slim. I’m not necessarily giving up all hope, but the more I fail at progressing, the less likely I am to want to continue. It boils down to enthusiasm, or more precisely, my lack of enthusiasm.
I have recently started realising that I’m not a particularly enthusiastic person. I don’t know if anyone that knows me would agree with that statement. If you get me talking about photography gear, bass guitars, Apple products vs the rest of the world, Minecraft, mobile phones or any of the other subjects I have an interest in, I’ll blab on for hours (or at least until I realise that glazed look on your face). But when it actually comes to doing the things I talk about, I’m fairly apathetic a lot of the time.
Take photography. It’s one of my hobbies, I’m no Ansel Adams, but I’m not too bad at it either. I know I enjoy taking photographs and processing them, but I rarely go out and take photos. Why?
I could tell you it’s because I don’t have time, because I don’t know what to shoot, because I don’t have a model to practice portraiture on, because it’s dark outside when I get home from work during the winter, because I only have a D3100 and cheap glass so my pictures aren’t good enough. But none of these are the reason, they’re just bad excuses.
The real reason as I see it, is because I lack enthusiasm.
I rarely have the drive to just get up off the sofa where I’m no doubt lounging around watching YouTube videos (probably about photography), pick up my perfectly capable D3100 and shooting anything that pops out in front of me. I should be experimenting, fuck the fact that it’s dark outside, start light painting. Who needs a model? Self portraits are more of a challenge (OK, so I’ve done that before), I should just get out and shoot!
This happens with pretty much everything I do. Most recently, it’s what’s happened with my NaNoWriMo effort. I’ve got the basis for what I reckon could be a really good story, I just can’t be bothered to write it, ideas just float about in my brain looking depressed and unloved, and I’m wholly to blame.
As I said earlier, I’m not giving up on my story. I’ve got a week off work later in the month, maybe some amazing inspiration will hit me and I’ll just plough through the remaining 46,000 words in some mad literary rampage. Maybe I’ll even get round to writing the prologue and third chapter that I have in mind over the weekend, who knows?
Despite my lack of progress this month, a few things have come out of the first couple of weeks in November. I’ve written more than I have ever done before, which is a good thing and I should be proud (I am). I’ve learnt that sometimes, time is hard to come by, most of the time for me it’s pretty easy though. And most of all, I’ve started coming to terms with my lack of enthusiasm, and acknowledging something is a good way of starting to fix it.
Thanks for reading.