Why I’m Not Publishing Anything

feb 4, 2020 | Journal

You’re on the website of a happily married couple, half of which claims to be a writer. If that’s so, you think, then where are all the stories — huh?

Well, now, look…I am a writer, really. I mean, I put one word behind the other and get paid to do it, sometimes. I’ve even been published — okay, it was just a little book of poetry in high school and I’m pretty sure they picked at random, seeing what dreck stains its pages, but it happened.

Really, I am a writer. At least, I think so.

The problem — and I don’t know an easy way to say this — the problem is you. I’m sorry, but it is. It’s just…I’m afraid of you. Not a normal kind of afraid either, the big irrational kind.

And I think it’s high time we talk about it.

Getting started is a great place to begin.

Whenever I dream up a new story I am confident I will see it all the way through. Because, so I think, what on earth might stop me? I won’t run out of things to say, will discover new angles to delight you with, and navigate from subject to subject effortlessly.

Then I put pen to paper and before I even make it to the end of the page I crash into the limits of my imagination. Actually, I wish it was only my imagination — I’m afraid it’s rather more the imagination of others I keep running into.

This is because inside me lives a megalomaniacal soul, all but certain I will (again, effortlessly) slide into great fame. However, that means I am forever having to deal with people. Not real people, no — the people in my head (said the lunatic, before they wheeled him off to the nuthouse.)

Imagine for a minute sitting at a desk, sharpening your pencil, checking if you have your eraser (you’ll need it), looking at a wall, at a plant, at the lamp and wondering what time it is, sharpening your pencil again, and finally putting your, now razor-sharp, 2B to the paper, ghostlike and daunting, suddenly wondering what others will think about the next word you’re going to write.

Rewriters

Now, normally a writer rewrites. So much so, actually, that we should better be called rewriters — it would be a more fitting title. However, my grandiose soul has already decided I will climb to a level of fame so great that not only my books will be devoured by millions. No, even my notebooks will be poured over by raving fans turned unofficial biographers.

This means people will not just see the perfect set of words deemed worthy to exist within two covers, they will just as well read what I have drooled into my notebooks and there find that none of my stories fell straight from my mind into a book — no, I have labored over them endlessly, until insanity came knocking.

They will conclude I am not a genius — I am a hack.

This idea fills me with such dread, it makes it nearly impossible to write. Putting pen to paper I freeze up, my mind crowded with the reactions of people who, in the end, never read a damn thing because there is not a thing to read. Isn’t that a pity?

I think this has to end, don’t you agree? If you hate the stories I tell than I have to let you figure that out by yourself, instead of making the decision for you. Let’s not have you burn me at the stake before you even find out out what on earth is going on.

And if, after reading what it is I have to say, you want to burn me at the stake still — that’s fine. At least I have more than enough notebooks lying around for you to start the fire.

Over Ons

Hello there! We are Ellis and Martijn, a couple traveling the world on a never-ending honeymoon. We got married may 2018 and one month later left everything behind. Want to read the full story?…

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By Me

I'm the 'Me' in Ellis & Me. But you might've gotten that already. I like writing little stories, the color yellow and driving up and down cities on a scooter.

Check out some of our other stories.

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