Why We Don’t Write

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We spend a lot of time talking about writing: why we do it, where we do it, how we do it, who inspires us to do it. But what about not writing? Why don’t you write? Maybe you just spent half an hour perched on the bathroom sink plucking your eyebrows because you’re afraid of failure (cough-not-me). Maybe you’re a stay-at-home parent and you only have access to crayons and poster paint. Maybe you’d love to write, but your literacy skills aren’t so great and you don’t think you’re up to it.

Over at the New York Writers Coalition, June 11 is ‘Why I Don’t Write’ Day. Tweet your reasons for not writing to @nywriters and #whyidontwrite. If they think you’re very, very good at not writing, you could win a copy of Freedom. (The app, not the book.)

On a related note, Scott McClanahan of Holler Presents has decided to quit writing and make videos instead. Here’s why:

I have decided to quit writing. After publishing three books in the past few years and three more in the next year, I have come to a point where I’m bored. I’m tired of talking about the death of writing. So I have decided to move to a new artform. The kids everywhere are doing it. These are some of the rules:

  1. No more discussion about the sound of sentences. Please abstain from the use of the word “acoustics.”
  2. No more complaining about how you’re trying to write a novel. No one cares. Let’s move on together.
  3. We are not the minor leagues anymore. We should refuse to join the Jonathans and Jeffreys of hardback books and thick glasses. They are losers. Their elementary classmates knew this before you did.
  4. A camera costs about 200 dollars. If you don’t have enough money, write to me and we’ll get you some (even if we have to steal it). Tapes are about 9 dollars a piece.
  5. You are free to be you. Let’s look into our faces. Let’s look into our eyes.
  6. Rule no. 6 banned for legal reasons.
  7. I may have been drunk when I wrote these rules. Please forgive me.

We at Electric Literature are particularly interested in pursuing point four.

Check out Scott’s latest video monologue. (And here’s Holler’s awesome mixtape from December.)

***

Elissa Goldstein was born and raised in Melbourne. She currently resides in Brooklyn, where she is the Online Editor of Electric Literature. You can find her here.

— Scott McClanahan is the author of Stories V! and The Collected Works of Scott McClanahan, Volume 1 (Lazy Fascist). His book Crapalachia will be published by Two Dollar Radio in 2013. His book Hill William will be published by Tyrant Books in 2013.

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