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I Don’t Write

Updated: Mar 12, 2022

I have been working on one particular story for over a year now. Let me elaborate on what I mean by ‘working on’; not editing to perfection or putting on the long finger. I haven’t touched this story in months. I specifically remember because I wanted to enter it for an annual short story competition that has closed twice since I wrote the introduction. I can’t quite put my finger on why I’m terrified of this story. It is, perhaps, more avant-garde than my other pieces and based on more topical issues. The most interesting element is that I am genuinely intrigued in the subject matter; not too close to the bone, but still a topic I would love to learn more about.

I find it almost impossible to find time to write. I’ve written my diary every night since the twenty-sixth of August 2014. I can’t imagine a timeline where I write short stories as often; laying in bed tying words together or crouched over my desk. My number one problem as a writer can be summarised in three words: I don’t write.

This issue has been brought to my attention countless times. I’d share an idea and the other person would enthusiastically rejoice the same words and phrases. Material! Write that! Take it down! Along with my personal favourite “get that hand moving”.

In ‘Spring Pools’ by Robert Frost, there is an extended metaphor of his creative process depicted as a dried up body of water. I use this example often, because I truly believe it to be the perfect description. My writing process isn’t a matter of laziness or even perfectionism. Having said that, I’m not motivated by questions such as “where do you see yourself in five years time?”. I know that so much can happen in five months, and even five days. I’ve always said anyone who writes is a writer, but not everyone who is a writer writes!

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