42 Reasons Writers Don’t Write


Someone else has said it better.

The sun is out.

She made the mistake of reading Faulkner.

Because a literary festival—a big one, tied to a reputable university—features a headline speaker she’s never heard of. And if she’s never heard of this author, what business does she have being in the same profession?

She has to think outside the box, but she can’t see the box. Someone must have fashioned it in plexiglass, utterly vogue, uselessly invisible. Never mind all that—what is she doing in someone else’s box? Oh right, she made the mistake of reading Faulkner.

She forgot to put her pants on. The day is wasted. One puts on pants to do something. The absence of pants is the first step towards the downfall of humanity. Or at least a day wasted.

There are people called artists, they sound like a smug, intellectual, and unkempt bunch who only exist in their work. She shuns them.

The sun isn’t out.

Her heart was broken once, long ago. As she tries to lay down dialogue for the protagonist, all she can do is gulp air as her suddenly surging memories fill up whatever space had previously been allotted to the protagonist’s dialogue and flood the creative life out of her.

What if… (nothing comes out)?

She told a few people she was a writer. Now they are uneasy at her potential failure, bewildered at her new abstract life, and at a complete loss as to how to measure success for her, which they feel compelled to do.

The cat is whining. She abandons her chair to see if the cat is trapped. She is all that exists between the cat and death.

She self-expressed. She thought self-expression was an end to itself. It’s not. She doesn’t know what else to express. She only has self. She needs to divide.

Many, many people have said it better.

She needs leisure to have imagination. But she forwent leisure to make room for imagination. Now she’s alone with boredom.

The space where words are supposed to be now have doodles. There is no more clean space. No room for words, regardless of their grandeur.

She fears if she goes into a room alone with her characters, they are likely to come at her like cannibals and tie her down while they nibble on her rather un-nubile body parts.

The idea of “show” vs. “tell” she takes too seriously. Or not seriously enough. She isn’t sure.

She desperately wants to be alone in order to connect with others at the most soulful, penetrating level. She is consumed by this paradox.

She has vision. Ideas. Words, however, are on sabbatical with no forwarding address. Until at least the end of the season.

It’s the end of the year. She’ll be older soon. The world is aging—who can write when the world is so rapidly aging? And she with it?

No one wants to visit the worlds she creates. Least of all, she. She lets possibility pass her by, like a train at rush hour.

Many, many people have said so many things better.

She is selfish. Lacks the generosity to expose what she thinks and feels. She wants to fold her arms, her blanket, and her words around her, keeping all to herself.

The moon isn’t out.

There is a void that won’t leave. It forms hideous reverberations of her own words, the echo of which she is seriously tired of hearing.

She measures her self-worth in feet and everyone else has gone metric.

Something is on the stove. In a maternal need to give birth to something (if not words), she’s making things. Hot things.

Her art is a play about her life, and she cannot imagine who to cast for the supports, never mind the leads.

She’s never read Thackeray. How can she be a writer if she’s never read bloody Thackeray!? Worse, Thackeray will never read her.

The chair doesn’t feel right.

Some stupid belief that “if you have to try, it’s not real” keeps her from trying. And from being real.

The idea, the idea is… is… was… stolen out of its crib by thieving carrion birds with massive, bloody talons, crippled forward with arthritis and covered in neat lines of scales that suggest dragons.

She wants to have written. So badly.

She is mentally throttled by very real reviews not written by people who have not read the book she has not yet imagined.

She thought it would be easier. Faster.

The cat is not whining. She abandons her chair to see if the cat is dead.

The moon is out.

Too many interruptions. Too much need, too many demands put on her from the other side of the earth and from right here in the bed next to her, sleeping warmly but, all the while, needing.

This chair doesn’t feel right either.

Many, many people have said practically everything better. All original thoughts are owned.

She’s too busy writing about not writing. It snugly fits her momentary sense of self as a failed and useless entity and thus, she dances around in it for a while and then, funny enough, it drives her to write.



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