Quotes about Not Writing

Here are some quotes from recent conversations with family and friends, which serve to remind me each day about why I want to write but also make me wonder why I am not doing it (or getting better results with it).  Do any of these sound familiar? And see if you can associate the right person from this cast of characters with the right quote:  mother, father, former boss, husband, children, new neighbour, old friend.

If finishing your novel is your top priority, how come it never gets done?

So, what do you do all day?  How come you are always too busy to meet up?

So, when are we actually going to be able to read something of yours in print? No, not online, that doesn’t really count, does it?  And besides, I can’t handle that mouse contraption too well.

Not at your laptop again?! What are you doing there all day?  When do I get to see you or talk to you?

When are you going to find your way back to those incisive, succinct reports you used to write? I mean, creative writing is a lot of waffle, ultimately, isn’t it?

All that education, all that encyclopaedic knowledge, all those years of hard work… and what have you got to show for it?

Do you really think writing will make you happy, or is it just another passing fad? There have been others before, haven’t there?

23 thoughts on “Quotes about Not Writing”

  1. Love this! Every one seems to have been said to me over the past few years. I used to write reports and strategy documents and still struggle to leave the language of those behind. My daughter thinks I am on holiday all the time….

  2. Sweetie, I am so totally with you. I have a fair idea who said what but I won’t embarras anyone by guessing wrong. Here’s my favourite–I leave you to guess who said this to me:
    “So…. now that the boys are both at school, what do you do all day?”
    Me (clears throat): “What, apart from the cleaning and ironing and shopping and supervising of homework and managing playdates and after school activities and all that?”
    “Yes, you must have loads of free time!”
    “Well, I write.”
    “Ah, yes, your novels. But what do you REALLY do?”

  3. I just went through this very thing with my family. They consider my writing to be an alternative world that they cannot be a part of which isn’t true. I have printed off my poetry and left it with them to read but they haven’t taken the time. I anguished over this (primarily because they considered only the option of making me stop writing) and realized that writing isn’t a choice or obsession for me. It is one part of who I am and they can either accept it or not. I won’t give up on myself to become a couch potato.

    Well, now that I have purged, I want to thank you for such a compelling post. In each statement, I saw my own interactions with people and felt my determination grow. There are those that write and those that don’t. I’m proud to be a writer. 🙂

    1. Thank you for your honest comment. Good for you – there are those that write and those that worry too much about what others say. But ultimately, I don’t want the following on my tombstone: ‘She put everyone else first.’ On some days I need to find ways to laugh at things that might otherwise make me cry.

  4. Ugh. Vicariously feeling the stabbing pain of knives in the heart. Ouch, ouch.

    The only thing that helps me with this is by talking more about what I do to them. I find that I have to take myself seriously, introduce myself as a writer, talk to them and within their earshot about what I do. Every day. Or else they might forget.

    Writing is so intangible to us all until we see it on the printed page.

    1. You’re right – and that’s the grown-up way of handling things (instead of just saying nasty things about them behind their back…). I am just learning to not be apologetic about attending a writers’ group or a workshop.

  5. “Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream.” – Paulo Coelho

    Follow your heart. Write your own Legend. Let History be the judge. ~Writing Too, Dan

  6. Oh, Marina, but I do believe there there are gems that come from procrastination, because after all, it is a masterpiece we are wanting to write and not any old thing. And in the vein of what Beth wrote, I have also found that my own family don’t read my stuff and don’t seem interested, and that is ok, because there are so many others that do, and I love them (too). 🙂

  7. Follow your heart, it rules!

    Consider responding to your ‘detractors’ with the question:

    “and what do you think you do with your day and what value does it give to you?”.

    Answers may very from “I work to pay the rent” to silence; they may be stumped by it or they may protest. See what answers your get back and develop a scheme of reposts that follow the lines of: “we each have different drivers in our lives, different motivations, different things we have to do to stay ‘alive’, so give me some space and show a bit of respect, please.

    But then, I’m sure you already figured this out 🙂

    1. Thank you for this! I was just mentioning you on my latest blog post (in draft still), when I suddenly found your comment. There really is some kind of synchronicity of minds, isn’t there?

  8. It highlights how difficult it is both to explain about writing and for other people to understand about it. From friends & family members I have got : ‘I can’t see the point of fiction’ to ‘Are you going to be the next Joanna Trollope, then?’ And then of course there’s always my favourite, ‘Earn any money from it, yet?’ Incidentally, I am very much looking forward to reading your book so … ‘Get back to your laptop!’

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