I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TIME
At last count, all residents of this planet were allotted 24 hours per day. While it's true parents of small children have numerous pressing time demands, there are few of us who don't squander several hours a day -- chatting on the telephone, staring at television, sitting in the car waiting for someone, or surfing the Net. The answer to time shortage is getting organized. If all else fails, trade an hour's sleep one night a week for time to write.
I'M NO SHAKESPEARE
No kidding? Who is? Are you going to be stopped doing something that matters to you because of talent limitations? Think of all those fun trips to the dance floor you missed out on as a kid because you felt you weren't good enough. The secret here is to think niche. Face it, many published writers are not literary luminaries. There's no necessity to write a masterpiece.
When I wrote my paying piece for Miniature Donkey Breeders Journal, the last thing on my mind was creating great literature.
I CAN'T STAND REJECTION
Really? You'd collapse or require hospitalization? How about a little humility here. If you understand that writing is brutally competitive stuff and editors have very specific needs that your piece may not fit, that can make rejection much easier. Also, if you're realistic about the limits of your talent, that can ease rejections as well. Remember even the best baseball hitters only succeed in getting a hit 3 out of 10 trips to the plate.
I'VE GOT WRITER'S BLOCK
Now there's some mythology. Try getting your physician or psychiatrist to treat you for writer's block. Writer's block is not a medical condition. It's a polite way to describe either laziness or limited motivation. All it takes to get unblocked is the placement of the fingers on the keyboard followed by gentle determination to let words flow.
THE KIDS NEED ME
Excellent point. They do. But do they need you 24 hours a day? If you've got toddlers, try something radical. Get them on a schedule. Put them to bed at 7:30. They'll be less cranky and into the program in a week, and even if you never write a word after they go to bed, you'll be less emotionally frazzled yourself.
I COULD MAKE MORE MONEY HUSTLING PIZZA
Good point. However, if money's your sole goal in writing, you've chosen the wrong field. It's not that money doesn't count, even small amounts are a wonderful incentive, but real writers are usually driven by more complex motives as well; anything from the desire to express something buried inside to a brutal drive to compete with the big boys.
I DON'T HAVE A DEGREE
How lucky can you get? This means you've been spared the excesses of indoctrination in political correctness. Being sans degree is an opportunity to stake out your own territory from a fresh point of view. Now it is true that limitations on information can be a handicap to a writer, but remember you're reading this online and therefore have instant access to that most wonderful set of encyclopedias -- the Internet.
I'M STRESSED OUT
Yes, if you've got small children you probably are. Studies show that the least happy age group is parents of small children. However, while stress can rob you of energy, there's the possibility that diverting your attention from concerns of income and parenting for an hour a day or a week could actually prove to reduce stress.
I'M TOO NARROW
Hey, ask me what I know about ballet, DNA, origami, or on-going tensions in Baluchistan. The thing is writers have to draw on their own area of expertise. My guess is there are few people with writing aspirations who don't have strong areas of narrow expertise than they can convert into articles. If not, keep in mind that a fair share of article writing requires interviews with experts and research. Remember all expertise has to begin somewhere.
I DON'T KNOW GRAMMAR
Okay, this can be a serious problem for an aspiring writer, but consider this. You weren't born with the ability to read, but you learned. The human brain is an adaptive thing with all sorts of potential. Lack of expertise in grammar and usage is not a genetic condition. If you have the desire to learn, in time you can learn what you need to know.
Bottom Line? Those who are serious about writing will get beyond excuses and begin to write. When the smoke clears, there's nothing stopping us but ourselves.