Reasons I’ve used not to write

  • I can’t think of anything to write about, so there’s no point in trying
  • Nobody’s asked me to write anything
  • Nobody’s paying me to write anything
  • Nobody’s waiting for me to write anything
  • Nobody’s asked me to collaborate on anything
  • Everything that could be written has already been written
  • Even if I could take something that’s already been written and write about it in a new way, that new way has already been written
  • I’m not creative enough
  • I’m not hard working enough
  • I’m not smart enough
  • I’m not political enough
  • I’m not opinionated enough
  • I’m not thoughtful enough
  • I’m not funny enough
  • I’m not serious enough
  • I don’t read enough books
  • I don’t read enough poetry
  • I don’t listen to enough classical music
  • I don’t watch enough experimental video art
  • Sometimes I use the wrong words for things
  • I’m not Australian enough
  • I’m too Australian
  • I haven’t read Kafka
  • I haven’t read Faulkner
  • I haven’t read Joyce
  • I haven’t read [X]
  • I don’t understand Foucault
  • I watch too much on Netflix
  • I don’t watch enough on Netflix
  • I know too many internet memes
  • I don’t know enough internet memes
  • I don’t have a law degree
  • I don’t have a philosophy degree
  • I don’t have a literature degree
  • I didn’t start young enough
  • I haven’t been given any grants
  • I haven’t won any prizes
  • Ok, I won one prize, but that was ages ago, so it must have been a mistake
  • I don’t have a mission statement for my writing
  • I don’t know why I’m writing
  • I’m a middle class white girl and nobody needs to hear my opinion on anything
  • I’m a middle class white girl and can’t write anything that doesn’t directly involve middle class white girls
  • I’m a middle class white girl and it’s my job, at this point in history, to be quiet
  • There’s too much crap to read in the world anyway, I shouldn’t add more crap to the world’s ‘to read’ pile
  • If I do add more crap to the world’s ‘to read’ pile, then who will read all the crap that has already been written? I should just confine myself to reading other people’s crap and validating that
  •  If I start writing and it’s not immediately good enough to win a prize/be on the BBC/sell a million billion gazillion copies, then there is no point continuing
  • Somebody in the world has to be a grown-up and do all the things that nobody else wants to do. Like, filing.
  • If I write something, maybe people won’t like it
  • If I write something, maybe people will be offended by it
  • If I write something, maybe people won’t understand it
  • If I write something, maybe people will understand it too easily
  • If I write something, maybe people will be neutral about it
  • There are terrible terrible things happening in the world and how can I think about writing when there are such terrible terrible things happening in the world, what’s wrong with me, I should just sit here and think of the terrible terrible things happening forever
  • In 20 years time, the world will end through huge and horrible climate change, so there’s no point in writing anything anyway.
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