To all my current and future #DCSPeeps (DECIDE, COMMIT, SUCCEED), welcome to my new series in my continuing effort to inspire, amuse, and entertain you! Each Monday I will select a new word to analyze how it might apply to our writing lives and also give you a peek into my childhood growing up in the swamps of southern Louisiana, so kick back, put your feet up, and check out my story about TODAY'S WORD:
We all make excuses from time to time in our lives...good reasons to hit the snooze button, a little white lie to get out of a social engagement, maybe even stories to tell the boss why you were late for work.
Most of the time it's harmless in the grand scheme of things and not a line drawn in the sand where stepping over to the dark side would actually lead to permanent damage.
My EXCUSE aha moment came when I was about 9 years old.
If you've read any of my DCSPeeps posts, you will already know I came from a dirt poor family where my mother struggled daily to put food on the table. This left no ability to splurge on those little luxuries other kids seemed to have free access to...like everyday candy.
Besides the holidays when I was fairly sure the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus would see to my sweet tooth, I was haunted by images of my classmates who seemed to tease me with their daily indulgence in confectionary delights while I could only watch and drool.
But one Saturday I had an opportunity to change all that. I was sent to the grocery store to purchase cigarettes for my mother when I saw it.
Row after row of candies. Hershey's Kisses rubbed elbows with Mars bars and Zeros nudged out M & M's as they all tried to get my attention. I stood there for a moment, wishing with all my 9 year old heart that, for once, I had a nickel so I could buy some candy of my very own. That is when an EXCUSE floated by to land on my shoulder.
"There's so much candy that if I only take one piece, the store won't really miss it."
That EXCUSE kept playing over and over in my mind until it became a reality. That one piece of candy ended up in my coat pocket and I walked around the aisles of that store wondering if I was brave enough to walk out the door with it.
I was lucky that day.
The mind is a wonderful thing and mine decided the candy I tried to take with no intention of buying was not worth the guilty conscience of knowing I had stolen something (and the beating I would get if my mother ever found out), so I returned the candy to the shelf and left the store.
My mother never found out and for that my behind is eternally grateful!
The life of a writer can be full of EXCUSES:
"My writing will never get published so why not quit?"
"It's so hard to find an agent to represent me!"
"I have to catch up on some emails so I'll work on my story later."
Those EXCUSES hang out with us all the time, pretending to know what's good for us and sometimes even convincing us to give up on our heart's desires.
I say why not turn those EXCUSES into PROMISES?
"One day my stories WILL get published so I'm not going to quit now!"
"If I do my research and keep submitting the best work I know how to create, one day I WILL find the right agent for me!"
"I won't let ANYTHING get in the way of my writing each and every day!"
I grew up a little that day in the grocery store, and hopefully I will continue to grow as a writer...forging straight ahead on my publishing path...with no EXCUSES to stop me!
How about you? What EXCUSES do YOU use to slow you down on your own publishing path?
Children's book author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a 'ninja' writer of children’s picture books, middle grade chapter books and young adult novels by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books. She is also a book reviewer for Harper Collins, and a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. Donna is a lover of dark chocolate, good stories, and an adoptive mom to 20-pound guard kitty in Knoxville, Tennesse