I didn’t receive the email*.

I meant to, but I forgot.

I thought ‘x’ was doing it.

And while we’re going down this murky track… ‘The dog ate it Miss’.

All excuses (*and btw, you did).

Too harsh? Let’s re-title…


Still too hard? OK, how about…


That feels more palatable.

The outcome’s the same. You didn’t do what you were supposed to do.

I don’t enjoy being called out on my excuses. And yet I’ve quite a selection..

‘Were you supposed to empty the dishwasher, Michael?’

‘I was just about to, peach.’ Sounds so much better than, ‘It’s the last thing I wanted to do, so I’ve conveniently forgotten.’

I rarely ask The Google for definitions, preferring to share my personal thinking with you; but this was too good not to share.

Google – What are excuses?

‘The invented reasons we create to defend our behaviour, to postpone taking action or simply as a means of neglecting responsibility.’

To postpone taking action… hmmm.

What have you been putting off? Maybe now is the time to stop making excuses and to start taking action?

I’d love to know what you think about this newsletter and my take on excuses. You can leave a comment here.


  1. October 14th 2021 by Silver

    Totally feeling called out. “Have you started writing that book yet?”
    “No, because I was waiting for…”
    Needless to say I have now written my first two chapters. Thank you Michael.

  2. October 14th 2021 by Phil Race

    I do enjoy your newsletters, and regularly share your pearls of wisdom with my team!

  3. October 14th 2021 by John Peters

    There are good excuses. Dogs can and do eat homework.

  4. October 14th 2021 by Pia Zanelli

    That’s me all over. I think think of a dozen excuses NOT to get on with things.

  5. October 14th 2021 by Steve Bell

    Great definition of ‘excuse’. Brilliant! Thanks for that.

  6. October 14th 2021 by Rose

    I I do online courses at my own pace which is slow and intermittent. I have my reasons. But I do enjoy my own process so this is a fact not an excuse 🙂

    Additionally can I point out that the VIP
    Challenge leads to a page saying Server not Found.

    My writing is coming along well.

    I do enjoy reading the comments on the Facebook page. They are most helpful.

  7. October 14th 2021 by Chris Berrett

    I think the most interesting excuses are the ones we tell ourselves, even though we know they are excuses we manage to validate them as legitimate reasons for not taking the action we should.

  8. October 14th 2021 by TinaBritton

    This is 💯 correct. I felt every word of this. I do have a lot of excuses, however I also have ‘reasons’. I use the word reason only when it’s not an excuse. Thank you ❤

  9. October 14th 2021 by Stefanie Lillie

    Ah you have caught me out again! How do you know? Yes I make excuses and it is dumb, thanks for the kick up the bum Michael

  10. October 14th 2021 by Su Bailey

    All day I’ve been putting off logging in and now you’ve caught me out. Many of thos reasons/excuses are relevant too.
    “” Ever felt spied on??????”””
    In a good way tho thanks.

  11. October 14th 2021 by Gillian Neish


  12. October 14th 2021 by Mike Rainey

    Your newsletter is great as they always are and you bring home to me the fact that the excuses I tell myself are (generally!) just that and I should either get on and do it or strike it off the list.

  13. October 14th 2021 by Bonaventura Apicella

    Great explanation on excuses. I agree.

  14. October 14th 2021 by Noel Wincote

    I could have said I didn’t receive your email but I did and here’s the answer?

  15. October 14th 2021 by Thelma Judson

    Hi, no excuses, Masterclass I was hoping to give confidence to belive can write. I was not ready for the masterclass, I would like another time, I am not excuses from a stroke and ahpsaia and has given focus to write and spelling, like to thank Michael for your support to confidence to carry on.

  16. October 14th 2021 by Patrick Rooney

    I have a tendancy to help others first and myself last. My author and writer friends I know tell me I should make time for me more as they know I’m trying to finish my book for which I’ve had some great feedback both critical and helpful ,so here I am …

  17. October 15th 2021 by william

    An excuse is blaming 3rd parties/other causes for not doing something rather than taking ownership yourself. Example: ‘Why haven’t you done…?’ – excuse: ‘I was waiting for you to provide additional information.’

    ”Why haven’t you done…?’ – reason ‘I needed additional information but didn’t come to you to get it in time.’ Takes ownership.

    If the answer was: ‘You said you’d provide the additional information I needed but didn’t in time.’ that’s an excuse because YOU could have reminded the person that they hadn’t provided it.

  18. October 15th 2021 by Robert

    Any excuse will work, you only have to use it.

  19. October 15th 2021 by Lenise Page

    I have been putting off sorting my ever grow. I will, no doubt, ing emails. The newsletters etc that get sent and rarely read, i mean. Or ones I think I will save for later.
    I am doing that now. MNo doubt I will end up by deleting the lot and try to keep on top of the next lot

  20. October 15th 2021 by Ros

    I have a recent health issue and joining you all would take mt mind off things but am using it as an excuse pretending it’s a reason

  21. October 16th 2021 by Alyson Storr

    I haven’t got an excuse, other than my mental health works too slow. Lots happen in my head, stored for when I remember to do the ‘other stuff’ logging in reading organising. Have thought of the answers to desert island and which writer, just need to find them again, wifi permitted………..not my excuse just failing of cooperation money men not making it good enough for village rural communities. Love reading , ‘people watching’ on comments. Very happy to be here. Just got to loose a teenage son for 6pm lives. That’s not an excuse that’s a fact! Hope your enthusiasm @Michael Heppell wears off on us all

  22. October 16th 2021 by Simon Lowe

    Fantastic Michael
    I’ll never forget your encouragement to take massive action!

  23. October 17th 2021 by karen McCann

    As always, Michael, you’re absolutely right! I’ve used my ongoing health issues as an excuse for not ‘doing’, for long enough! NO MORE!! Thank you

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