Reasons are simple and don’t need to be elaborated on. Excuses make you sound guilty, especially if you belabour the point. For instance, I didn’t publish a post on Sunday.
The Reason: My mobile app didn’t work properly.
The Excuse: I wrote a long post on my iPhone using the buggy WordPress app, which doesn’t always update properly. I chose to write a quick ‘photo’ post, which isn’t always reliable. When I hit send, it have me a ‘PUBLISHED’ message. The next morning I checked my stats and the post hadn’t gone through. I checked my phone, and the post was in a confusing section called ‘Local’. I tried publishing it again, and it sort of worked, except it left out the picture. I back dated the post so that I would associate the post of the appropriate day (since I did write it that day after all). That confusion then caused me to think I had written a post for Monday, which I hadn’t, and then Monday’s post also fell behind.
See the difference? The more you talk about it, the more that can be questioned and the more you (potentially) incriminate yourself. And the more excuses you make, the more it sounds like life is out of control, and you with it. I try to give measured reasons for things and take responsibility. It doesn’t always work, because I like to get into the details and I have an inborn sense of ‘extreme fairness’ that has been blunted by the harsh weight of reality. But as soon as I become conscious of sounding defensive, I try to reel in the excuses and get down to the basic facts.
I should have been a lawyer.