Friday, June 26, 2015

Realist's Guide to Why Not to Write

So you're a pessimist looking for reasons not to write? Step into the parlor. Have a seat. Tea? No? Whiskey. That's what you need. It's fine. We understand. Really. You see, 'pessimist' is such a judgmental word, isn't it? Those of us who fall in the 'glass half empty' part of the spectrum prefer to see ourselves as realists. Of course there are perfectly valid reasons one shouldn't write. Here. Start with my list:

You shouldn't write because:
  1. You're not into masochism - it isn't just plots that twist. Authors twist and beat themselves up and wonder why the hell they'd come up with a story that required an ant and an aardvark to fall in love.
  2. All the angst - There are these voices. "This isn't good enough." "Why are you so slow?" "YOU SHOULD BE DONE BY NOW!" They nag at you until you shout, "SHUT THE FUCK UP!" Unfortunately, you shout it aloud while you're writing at the local coffee shop. The police are usually involved thereafter. The words 'psych eval' get tossed around. Sometimes, restraining orders are issued.
  3.  Floundering - It's not a swim move. Unless you call drowning in an in-progress manuscript 'swimming'. You will get stuck. You will question your intelligence. You will wrack your brain to the point that your native language looks like something scraped off the surface of Mars. And yet, you'll still have an insurmountable number of words to write before you reach The End.
  4. You'll miss out - If you commit to writing, you commit time. If you commit time for writing, it is time that cannot be committed to other occupations, past times, or episodes of Jersey Shore. You already know you can't have it all. You're a pessi--a realist. So you have to choose. Because, after all, not choosing is, in itself, a choice.
  5. If you can do anything else in the world, you should. Frankly, at the first whiff of resistance, you WILL be off doing anything else in the world but writing. After all, we realists know that true artists are driven by Divine will to create! It isn't as if sacrifice and hard work have anything to do with it. If it isn't all joy all the time, we must be meant for other things.
Now, now. Put down the whiskey bottle and stop crying. It isn't all bad. Your glass of whiskey is only half empty.


  1. I hear from the "You Should Be Done By Now" voice far more often than I'd like... ~glares in its general direction~