Who knows if he really did, but Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”
Actually, it does sound like Ben, doesn’t it? He was a smart guy and all, but as a writer himself, he should have known better than to ever say such a thing about excuse-makers. Writers are brilliant at writing and at excusing themselves. But I have noticed, the excuses do tend to be a bit generic and predictable–I have writer’s block. My muse has left me. It’s too pretty to stay inside and write. I can’t find the time. My eyes are demon possessed. You’ve heard them all before.
- My characters were summoned for jury duty. Yes. All of them. Even the kids. [Fist to the sky. “Curse you, judicial process!”]
- I have temporary typing-amnesia. What? Use a pen and paper instead? And risk sustaining a paper cut? Madness! Besides, I’m afraid I might be penphobic.
- I’ve buckled under the barometric pressure.
- My toaster is overpopulated with crumbs. It must be thoroughly cleaned. Twice. Safety first. Say, you have a toaster, too, don’t you?
- I have a sudden, irresistible urge to donate an organ.
- I must construct a cave to age my cheese. I must. Darn it all to heck. I must.
- My computer is locked on 6 point Vladimir Script. I can’t read my own writing.
- Great Aunt [insert name here] called and she wants to tell me her life story. Today. She’s 104.
- I’ve been commissioned to write New Zealand a new national anthem. They need 18 stanzas. But first, I have to learn Maori.
- I was doing research on the agricultural practices of Native Americans in the 1500s and learned how corn was planted. Corn planting made me think of candy corn. Candy corn made me think of corn rows. Corn rows made me think of that 80s movie “10” with Bo Derek and Dudley Moore, and that made me think of another Dudley Moore movie, “Arthur,” which I love. So, I made myself some popcorn (so appropriate, right?) and watched it. By then, I kind of forgot why I was doing the research in the first place. What was the question?
Use as many of these as you like this summer, but don’t blame me (or Ben). That would be inexcusable.
I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse. ~ Florence Nightingale (Well, good for you, Flo.)