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Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Speak Out!: 5 Excuses Women Use Not to Write

by Lilia Fabry

Oh, the horror of the blank page. There’s nothing like staring at a white document with a blinking horizontal cursor counting down the seconds until you create something to make you say, “Don’t I have a load of laundry to do?” I have many excuses to get out of writing that can be just as ridiculous as what is written. These are some of the most common:

1. “What’s with that speck of dust?” – I seem to take special notice of dust, grime, off-color surfaces, etc. when I’m writing. Reserved for when I try to impress with the few recipes I can prepare well enough to garner semi-sincere compliments from guests, my inner Martha Stewart seems to spring to life whenever it’s time to write. Much like the Martha Stewart show, that’s fine – but in small doses.

2. “Just 5 more minutes of Facebook” – AKA, the time I think it will take to find a worthy item on the site. Long story short: it will take more than five minutes.

3. “Someone will recognize my plagiary, inspiration” – I make no secret of my writing inspirations and incorporate these tricks and treats on a regular and partially successful basis. The takeaway: As long as it’s not a cut and paste, nothing can be made to stick. Probably.

4. “You probably think this work is about you” – In Carly Simon fashion and on more than one occasion, I’ve been asked for the basis for a certain character, leading my paranoia to tell me my interrogator thinks they recognize him/her and are about to narc on me. In Metallica fashion, the sad but true fact is most characters are derived from my unapologetically demented imagination.

5. “This sucks” – It’s very easy for me to blame my work, i.e. turning it into a perfect excuse not to write. The solution? That never stopped me before.

All (or most) kidding aside, the above and their offspring can’t really compare to what I tell myself to actually get writing: “I’m going to die one day, and I’ll be extra-damned if this story dies with me.” Morbid, but effective.

I’d love to hear what your excuses are.

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Lilia Fabry is the author of Ordinance 93, a novel set in a world where having a baby without permission is against the law and follows the first four people to break it. She also writes about everything from reaction injection molding to low fat recipes while indulging her need for creative outlets including novels and screenplays. Find out more on her site or her Twitter feed .
Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


  1. My excuses are usually because I don't know how to say no to all the things I'm asked to do. ;) it's all a juggling act!

  2. "Spot on!" I too decide the house needs a thorough cleaning either when I'm on a deadline or have a perfectly quiet day all to myself to write. So glad someone else gets it. Looking forward to checking out your work, Lilia!

  3. My excuse is usually related to my pain issues, either I'm in pain or don't want to start a flare up. On good days I try to get in at least 500 words.


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