Own Up to Your Excuses

“Owning a Writer’s Life, able to work where and when and with whom you want, on work that interests you, away from cubicles and office politics, free of commutes, with the income you choose is a rare, incredibly elite, privileged way of life, a great accomplishment. It is not supposed to be easily obtained. It brooks no excuses. None.” – Dan Kennedy

Last week we talked about fear breeding inaction.

But yesterday, Dan Kennedy reminded me of something else that breed’s inaction in an article he wrote for AWAI…


Now of course the two can overlap when your excuse for not taking action happens to be that you’re afraid…

Whether you’re afraid to talk to clients …
Afraid your writing isn’t be good enough …
Afraid of learning something new like social media …

But the number of excuses you can come up with are never-ending, and they can be just as dangerous to your dreams of living the writer’s life.

Have you made any excuses lately? I know I’m guilty of it.

Earlier this month I shared with you one of my big goals for 2011…

To launch a new website in the health market.

But what I didn’t tell you is that I had actually planned to launch it last year. My excuse for not getting it done?

I was simply too busy. I couldn’t find the time.

So here I am, one year later, with the same goal.

But here’s what’s going to make this year different…

Once I owned up to my excuse I promised myself I’d overcome it.

And since I’ve always believed in learning about success from successful people, I went back to the AWAI archives and looked up interviews and stories from successful AWAI members for inspiration.

When B2B copywriter Ed Gandia started out, he had a family to support and couldn’t make the leap to freelance copywriter, until he could replace the six-figure job he already had.

So he got up an hour earlier each day, and worked nights and weekends on his freelance copywriting. It took him 27 months, but when he finally made the leap he cleared $127K his first year.

And was finally living his version of the writer’s life.

This month I’ve been getting up an hour earlier, and I spend time each Monday morning reorganizing my schedule for the week to make sure I schedule enough time to work on my website.

I’m still just as busy as I was last year. But every week I’m moving closer to my goal, and it feels awesome.

So now it’s your turn.

What excuses have you made to delay your own success?

Sometimes simply owning up to them is enough to get you moving again. But if you’d like some ideas on how to overcome them, I invite you to share them with me and your fellow writers in the comments below.

Together we’ll come up with solutions.

I’d also like you to check out this article I came across when I was looking for inspiration by AWAI Copywriter, Guillermo Rubio…

8 years and 2,600 miles later he’s living the writer’s life – a life he could only dream about when he first started out.

In the article he shares with you his journey, and gives you three simple pieces of advice for moving forward towards your own dreams. (And yes, one of them is to drop the excuses!)

As Dan Kennedy put it in his article …

There are all sorts of excuses not to write, not to write a set number of words every single day, not to get good at writing. There are even more excuses not to make yourself into a freelancer attractive to clients, not to build your own promotional platform, not to promote and market yourself, not to get good at self-promotion, selling, negotiating, deal-making, client control and management.

The cash value of all those excuses is $0.00, yet people invest a lot of creative thought in assembling them.

Don’t let excuses stand in your way. Just like Dan … just like Ed and Guillermo and many other AWAI Members, you deserve to live the writer’s life you’ve always dreamed of too.

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Published: January 25, 2011

16 Responses to “Own Up to Your Excuses”

  1. Ha! Fear and excuses. I've used both very effectively. I shoulda'... but you can't "shoulda".

    I've been afraid of failure--what if they don't like my writing?

    I've been afraid of success--What if I get so busy I don't have time for the things I want to do?

    The excuses are innumerable, but they're all made because of those two fears.

    So, I'm 'digging a little deeper' as advised by Joshua Boswell, to overcome both fears. I've decided to just do this copywriting stuff for fun. I do think writing is fun. If I make a few hundred thousand extra while having fun, so be it. If not, I still win by overcoming my fears, and having fun.

    Guest (Jim Hippen)

  2. I don't really have fears that hold me back; I'm having a difficult time finding clients to work for. Even when I apply for jobs, most often, I hear nothing from them. Very frustrating! If I heard something, even a rejection, it would give me the opportunity to ask for feedback so I can improve. Any suggestions?

    Wayne W

  3. What a timely article for me Rebecca. I've felt myself slowing down this week as I try to work thru my monthly goals, & I've been pondering the inertia rather than figuring out a way to get things moving. Regardless of the reason, there was no way I was going to let the inertia take over. So I kicked it to the curb, pulled up my proverbial bootstraps & got down to it. Thanks for the reminder!

    Julia Borgini

  4. I bought The Ultimate Travel Writer's Course several years ago but never did it. This year, I have started again and am almost ready to submit my first assignment. I am writing every night after dinner, when my husband watches television. I am determined to finish the course this year and start traveling and writing about the places I go.


  5. Rebbecca,I feel like my writing is not up to an A+ writer. I am dying to be a web writer just like you,but I need some help or mentoring. I am contemplating retirement in 36months and would like to find out more about web writing. I have always been told I have the ability but my writing doesn't sound conversational. If you can help,please e-mail me. Thanks

    Guest (Darnell McCray)

  6. My 'reasons' for not getting things done are really 'excuses' - procrastination, 'someday' to do list - all excuses. How easy is it to get distracted - 'that looks interesting' - and before you know it an hour has gone, never to return. So many times the important deadline looms - I will get to doing it shortly until it becomes critical and there is not enough time to complete it properly. I now intend following the discipline outlined in Michael Masterton's recent post of setting a goal (yearly, monthly, weekly) then setting priorities for each day and culling everything that is not heading in that direction.


  7. I think I have you beat in the slack department, Rebecca. I have been planning my tennis website for several years! I finally have it up and I'm adding articles and blog posts regularly. It feels great! Funny thing is, the name of the site is AfterFortyTennis. Well, I'm now 51 and I finally have it up! So it never is too late!

    Guest (Keith)

  8. My excuse WAS:I am a single father of a teenage daughter, with a job that requires 12hr. shifts...That was last year.This year I am a member of the Internet Money Club, I am enrolled in the "Secrets of becoming an Internet Research Specialist" course, and in the process of developing my web site:webcopyresearch.com; also enrolled in the Ultimate Travel Writer's Program, and will resume my Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting course as soon as the Travel writing program is completed. I recently became a member of the Professional Writers Alliance as well as ITWPA. So as you can see there is NO TIME FOR EXCUSES. I will leave my job of over 30years by the end of 2012, if not sooner, and will hit the ground running already having developed income streams via WRITING!!


  9. My reason for procrastinating is that I'm going to school and have lots of homework and am not sure whether taking the Travel Writer's course would have a lot of homework and daily assignments. And I'm not naturally a writer but I think I could write articles people would like to read because I am able to express to people why they should visit certain destinations.

    Guest (caribbeanlady)

  10. Hi Rebecca! I, too, am inching my way towards my goals and am getting up earlier than ever before to get a jump on my day. I've only been doing this for a few weeks, but already I feel less overwhelmed and progress. Thanks for sharing!

    Tess Wittler

  11. I am always procrastinating. Not just with this endeavor but with most things. It is a life-long character defect that I am trying to overcome. I am a good writer, and I have written hundreds if not thousands of published stories as a newspaper staff writer for 20 years. I had to retire for medical reasons a few years ago, so I bought the Six Figure course, but now I find myself sitting on my hands. No good reasons, no entertaining excuses. It's a new year...maybe I can make a new start.

    Susan Fox

  12. Interesting email you sent me addressing "excuses." So now I'm taking the time to write you a comment. I do not boast to the avail of any grand excuse. On the contrary, I'm a 99r. Therefore, with absolutely no income there is a basic necessity not an excuse to resolve the issue of procuring food, internet and rent payments immediately while searching high and low for any kind of funds, "by any means necessary" with the exception of illegal activity. This amalgamated with finishing two articles for another site has taxed me and my time. These expedients were implemented by the nature of survival in an effort to make money. Non-the-less, I look forward to a conducive working, learning and sharing relationship in regards to AWAI with the highest earnest culminated experience. To this end, I say, I applaud your email for you have engaged my attention to the extent of noticing you. Not-to-mention, doing a retake and perusing what you have to offer. I cannot say

    Guest (dvon)

  13. I seem to be a master at procratination. It is something I am not proud of because it has become even stronger the last ten years. Goal setting I am still in the process of learning, sometimes I feel they are totally out of reach. I am still trying to complete the Accelerated Program, the problem I run into is I look at the whole project instead of one section at a time. That's where I tend to stick, and don't accomplish anything.
    I am guilty of not focusing on goals that I set.

    Margaret from Follett Texas

  14. My excuse is simple,yet complicated. I actually fear... success! I know this because:

    I love writing I love crafting promotions I love AutoResponder Emails I love working from home I love self-help & natural health niches I have no doubt I can be a successful copywriter

    What could possibly be holding me back?

    We've been broke for so long I wonder if I'm "scared" of the responsibility that comes with being financially successful.

    Rebecca, your article is "Spot on" for me... no more excuses!

    Jerry Bures

  15. I wish my excuse was "one more thing". But mine is far more destructive -- a lack of confidence. I know I'm a good writer (not just my opinion), but I have been struggling to get through the AWAI Six-Figure Copywriting course for over a year. And while I have made a commitment to finish it in 2011, that gnawing fear that I'm just not good enough keeps eating away at my soul. I think I suffer from the old "if it sounds too good to be true..." adage. But I will keep trying regardless.

    Jim Lawrence

  16. I've made some money writing fund-raising copy, but in all honesty I think I'm better suited to B2B copy. However, I don't know how to make the transition since I don't have any B2B experience. Plus, the whole idea of starting over again is really daunting to me.


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