Writing Excuses 8.52: You Think You Don’t Have Time to Write, with Mette Ivie Harrison

Mette Ivie Harrison joins us again, this time for a cast about productivity. She’s written an eBook, 21 Reasons You Think You Don’t Have Time To Writewhich is currently free on the Kindle store. Here is the full list of 21 things, since we could spend an entire cast on just the first one.

The point here is to help you, the writer, to recognize the mental states and attitudes that are coming between you and your writing. It’s our hope that you’ll end up more productive, and we can’t think of a better thought upon which to end Writing Excuses Season 8.

Here is to a 2014 in which you write more, write better, and are happier doing it.


Come up with a reason why the writer in your story absolutely cannot write, then have your writer manage to write anyway.

Metatropolis: Green Space, in which Mary has a story. Lots of writers, lots of narrators. Go have a look!

18 thoughts on “Writing Excuses 8.52: You Think You Don’t Have Time to Write, with Mette Ivie Harrison”

  1. Concerning writing spaces:

    I can’t write in places where other people might see my screen. Anybody else have this problem?

  2. How does one keep a creative frame of mind, or get back in the “writing zone” personally and mentally or emotionally if they have several stressors happening in their personal lives? Do you just roll with the punches or is that why authors/writers have spouses and assistants? ;)

  3. Hey Night you can get an program for your computer that will allow you to read kindle published books you buy on amazon. The amazon store has it for free, I think win8 comes with it automatically even, since it’s free.

  4. @Nightsbridge: You can get kindle eBooks and then read them on your pc/tablet/smart phone using apps that are available on every major platform.

  5. Love, love, love the idea of the pre-writing ritual. We only have one computer and it’s a desktop, so I can’t move it to a special space;having my writing computer/space be the same as my Facebook computer/space is a nightmare for my productivity. I recently seriously considered wearing a veil over my hair at church, not because I have religious beliefs about veiling, but because putting the veil on would help my brain enter “church space” so I’d get less distracted. Maybe I should wear a special writing hat so I can go into “writing space” instead of “screwing around on the Internet” space!

  6. Would you guys ever hopefully touch on excuse number seventeen in a future podcast?

    17. You don’t actually like writing. You like having written. (Join the club.)

    Because currently, I feel that I’m stuck here. I have so many ideas in my head that I want to pen down, but when it comes to putting them into words on a page, I feels so difficult and tedious, especially since my internal editor and need for perfectionism hinders me.

  7. I’ve found that most of these excuses simply vanish if I make it a habit to write. I found a fun way to make and keep habits by using the website HabitRPG. It just turns making habits into a game, and also helps me keep my to-do list in order, and keeps me actually checking things off.
    I also find that I have to put myself in a studious atmosphere to write. So I setup my laptop at the library. But that’s just what works for me.

  8. @slashe? Just pondering, and it seems to me that one approach to this would be taking on the weekly story challenge for yourself. Start with six stories — make yourself write and finish a story a week for six weeks. Then, at your discretion, you might want to continue for the next 3months, half-year, or even full year of stories. If you think of other stories during the week, go ahead and note them down for later, but require yourself to finish this week’s story before spending much time on those others. And, of course, since you are just doing this for practice, you can assuage your internal editor and perfectionism with the thought that you will come back later and revise it. Say after you have finished the six weeks, three months, six months, or a year?

  9. The excuse of “I’ll have more time later to write” really hit me in the feels. My love left me this Christmas because I wasn’t dedicating enough time to writing to pursuing this hobby that I want to be my main passion. Devastated. it shook me so hard I have put myself on a program of making sure I write 500 words a day when I get home from work. Not a lot but enough that I know I am moving inexorably towards a finished book. I’ll never let my excuses which can come off as a perceived lack passion ruin a good thing again. Just letting you all know that you can lose everything you hold dear by not making time for your writing/passion.

  10. This podcast cuts out at Mary saying, “There’s a website, uh, called…”

    Great episode, despite the abrupt end, and timely for the start of the year. It’s almost 21 writing resolutions to make.

  11. My brother and I have our own projects that we’re working on. But, sometimes you just need a break from what you’re doing. We have a joint project that we correspond back and forth contributing to. Sometimes it’s only a paragraph and we don’t spend longer than half an hour on each entry, but it’s a great way of keeping the creativity flowing and it’s fun trying to react to an external source that you have no control over. I must admit there are times when I’m more excited over the joint project than my own which i suppose is a problem in itself :)

  12. The best one mentioned was “Thinking you have time to write later.” I think that one really is one that is the biggest in my life. Thanks for bringing this out.

  13. Mary mentioned something (a web-site) that you were going to put in the liner notes. I was wondering if that was on its way. Thank you.

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