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Hello, writers! How are we all doing today? In my neck of the woods, it’s sunny but cold (42 degrees) for Southern California, so I have the heat on and a huge mug of hot tea on my desk. I’ve gone through e-mail, sent out a few Tweets, and now I’m here to nudge you all into activity.

For those of you engaged in my writing challenge for the month, we’re on day six. How’s that working for you? Everyone still writing every day? Just a little bit counts, though I suspect more than a few of you have realized that once you sit down and get going, it’s much easier to stay there and write a little bit more than it was to get started in the first place.

However, I suspect a few of you have already missed a day. It happens, I get it. December is a crazy, busy month, and life is hectic even at the best of times. So I’m here to tell you how to handle those slip ups, because try as you might, they will happen, whether it’s during the challenge this month or some other time. And yes, I gave you two free days out of 31, but we’re early in the month still, and I suspect you already know what days you would like to take off.

Here’s the deal: No Guilt, No Excuses. That means, if you miss a day of writing, don’t make excuses about it, but don’t feel guilty either. It happened, it’s over, move on and write the next day.

Unless you have a book contract with a looming deadline (in which case you probably have an editor’s and an agent’s expectations in mind), you don’t answer to anyone but yourself. So shaming and scolding yourself over missing a day’s writing won’t impress anyone, and it might make you feel bad enough that you have a hard time getting back in the swing. Likewise, there’s no point making excuses. Who are you making them to? You know if you were legitimately too busy or if something important came up that you decided was worth giving up your equally important writing time. You also know if you were just feeling lazy or if you let yourself get caught up in something else when you really should have been putting pen to paper. You know. So move on, and get writing. If you want it, make the time, make it a priority, and write.

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