The author of the website called 101reasonstostopwriting.com apparently found his own advice so compelling that he stopped writing after coming up with only 17 of the 101 reasons. I took it as a challenge to come up with the other 84—which is a cinch, given that there are so many more reasons to stop writing than to do it in the first place.
Next time you feel the urge to write coming on, consider these (additional) reasons to back away from the computer:
1. You know your husband and kids would rather that you baked them some cookies.
2. You know your wife would rather that you fixed the goddamn shower you’ve been saying you were going to fix for the past six months.
3. If you try to write, you will be checking your email and reading your horoscope for the next two hours anyway, and end up feeling more frustrated.
4. Even if you write the book, you won’t be able to sell it.
5. Even if you sell the book, the publisher will screw it up.
6. Even if the publisher doesn’t screw it up and it’s the most beautiful, wonderful book in the world, nobody will buy it.
7. Or read it.
8. And if they do buy it and read it and you become a rich and famous author, all other writers will hate you.
9. You can’t have sex while you’re writing.
10. Instead of writing something mediocre, better to read one of the great books that inspired you to be a writer in the first place. Which, need we mention, almost nobody is reading.
11. Writing-related health hazards: carpal tunnel, bad eyesight, weight gain, insanity.
12. Getting an occupation that involves communing with others and having lunch in beautiful restaurants on someone else’s tab is a lot more fun than sitting alone in a room talking to yourself.
13. Whatever you write today, you’re just going to hate tomorrow anyway.
14. If you claim to spend the day writing and instead lie on the couch getting high and watching The View, nobody will ever know the difference.
15. It might make sense to get a job that pays better, like checking groceries at the A&P.
16. And if it’s fame you’re after, you’d do better to make an erotic home video and post it on YouTube.
17. Even in a teeny-tiny online literary magazine, the editor gets five times as many good pieces as she can use.
18. Every eighteen seconds, a baby is born. And someone starts blogging.
19. If you want to get a really great book contract, you have to be a movie star. And that’s probably not gonna happen for you.
20. If you seriously try to write, you will not have time to go to the Y, try the new Starbucks, have lunch at Raymond’s, check out what’s new at Ruby, attend the school-review meeting, or pick up something for dinner at Whole Foods.
21. There are no really cute writing outfits.
22. The most successful writers are under 25, come from a Third World country, are gorgeous, have an adventurous sense of their gender and a cool name like Augusten or Zadie—or all of the above. And you’re a middle-aged white lady named Judy.