There is a big difference between writing for other people and Writing for yourself. Writing for other people involves assignments, deadlines, and consequences for not meeting those deadlines. I am pretty good at it.
But when it comes time to capital-W-Write for myself (by which I mean working on my own fiction and non-fiction) I have one exceptional talent that I’d like to share.
It’s called Not Writing.
I am world-class at Not Writing. Believe me, if there’s a topic to not be written about, I will Not Write about it with a passion and dedication that’s hard to match.
I am so skilled at Not Writing, in fact, that I can multitask it with any of the following chores:
- Making coffee
- Scrolling Instagram
- Cleaning my desk
- Taking the dog out
- Making to-do lists
- Researching (This is often confused with Writing, but it is emphatically Not Writing)
It may look like a lot of work to Not Write — and it is. Not just anyone can Not Write for hours on end as I can!
Not Writing is a carefully-crafted cocktail of procrastination, de-prioritization, and fear of failure. If you don’t Write anything, you’ll Not Write anything bad!
How can you also get this good at Not Writing? Here’s my patented two-step process.
- Decide that you want to Write books.
- Don’t Write any.
Congratulations! You’re well on your way to reaching my level of skill at Not Writing. The more time you spend Not Writing, the more committed you’ll become to the Not Writing lifestyle. Eventually, it will become all-but-impossible to start Writing. This means you will have officially converted into that most enviable of people — an Aspiring Writer.
Once you become an Aspiring Writer, do not, for the love of all that is literary, start Writing. As soon as an Aspiring Writer starts Writing, they become a Writer. And there’s no coming back from that.
Note – I wrote this while I was supposed to be Writing.