Why I don’t write

This is an attempt to explain a quandary; an apparent remiss; a failed expectation; a mental puzzle; a contradiction; an absence.

Why don’t I write? While I daily write shopping lists, memorandums to myself and occasionally others, emails, I text away with abandon and even write words for CD covers I don’t seem to write about anything informative or salient. I’m moderately intelligent, reasonably articulate (at least when discussing general science and some music styles), strongly opinionated at times, occasionally verbally vociferous, tendentious in my attitudes on certain topics and as intolerant of inane trivia as the next person, fond of expressing my own thoughts in conversation – but I don’t seem to have a compulsion to write any of this down for others to review, ponder, criticise, misinterpret or ignore.

The reasons why I should set pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, voice to Dragon Dictate, I suppose are many. I could try to ‘change the world for the better’ or join in the incessant conversation re-examining and dissecting various issues – politics, philosophy, economics, history, humanism, religion, the environment, science, sports and sexual regimes etc. Blog away, exposing others to the ruminations of my mind and the plagiarised ideas of other, much smarter people. Or I could write works of fiction full of hopefully interesting characters living improbable but fascinating lives in exotic locales, believing that these offerings would be entertaining for others to read.

I have to confess that I’m not a fan of fiction and my own reading tends to non-fiction – mostly popular science and the philosophical. So I wouldn’t know where to start with making up a story that might be of interest to others. Anything that I wrote would have to entertain ME first, and I don’t think that it would be safe to assume a correlation with that and general reader ‘consumptionworthyness’. And there are no non-fiction subjects that I would feel comfortable about discussing in print. Especially when compared to the sages that have already written great works discussing the few issues with which I am familiar with profundity, subtlety and eloquence. I surmise that anything I have to say would probably be seen as quite superficial after critical analysis. Certainly by me, anyway.

A short anecdote will illustrate my situation. Many years ago I visited a public lavatory and while I was availing myself of its facilities I was struck by a mischievous impulse to scribble on the toilet wall an original slogan that I believed at the time was both witty and profound. Well and good. However, some time later I revisited the same facility and noticed my previous message. I don’t remember the actual text but I was struck by my earlier self’s lack of insight, obtuseness, insensitivity to others. The only good thing is that I hadn’t signed the inscription.

And so I remain literarily silent. Possibly out of a consideration for others but certainly out of a need to relieve myself of the tedium of re-reading my previous thoughts and ideas. Or maybe I lack the need to try and change anybody else’s mind or opinion – an awesome responsibility when you fully consider it. Maybe I should consider it futile to even try. Or quite possibly the reason that I don’t write is due to a deep, profoundly ingrained sense of inertia, laziness, ennui?

Mmm, I’ll ponder on this further.


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