Why I Have Failed To Write a Word in 2014


  1. Julie Luek
    Julie Luek January 21, 2014 at 10:12 am .

    Oh this was good. For me fear and all the self-doubt therein kills my writing. I have ideas, good ideas, swarming in my head, but as soon as I get them down on paper, their greatness diminishes to a dull mess. Of course, that is the work of writing– to give them polish. Write daily. Yes. Thanks for the kick I needed.

  2. Zombie Joe
    Zombie Joe January 21, 2014 at 10:20 am .

    What keeps me going? Posts like this… Knowing there are others out there going through the same mess I am. Knowing I have a review due Friday, Game Night on Sunday, my day job every weekday, and STILL have writing and editing to do. It can be daunting, tiring, and depressing. And I know that I’m not the only one.

  3. Quincy J Allen
    Quincy J Allen January 21, 2014 at 10:23 am .

    (insert Clintonesque vocalization here) I feel your pain.

    Last night, while my better half went to bed early, I stayed up and wrote for the first time since the beginning of the year. I’m woefully behind on damn near everything and have been struggling with the same doubts you expressed above. For me it’s not just getting back to the discipline, it’s that I overcommitted in a few areas. It’s funny and sad and tragic and terrifying when you’re at the head of your mid-life slide into those dreadful/wonderful golden years and staring down the barrel of HOPING a novel takes off. It’s like a slow-as-molasses version of Russian Roulette.

    We’re mad… all of us writers… yet we can but try. Yes?

    So let us commiserate. Let us support in mind and spirit, if not body and book sales. It is as Hunter S. Thompson said. We’re the doomed. We’re helpless. Hopeless. We’re somebody else’s lunch. We’re doomed. And the only ones who can save us are ourselves. The beauty about being a fiction writer is that we get to make our own heroes… our own endings. Our heroes are doomed over and over again… and by our own hands. Yet they come out the other side, chewing their way through concrete and steel. They brush the dust and debris off their clothing and go take on the next disaster like it was getting a cup of coffee.

    Let us take our lead from those heroes we engender and start chewing concrete and spitting gravel.

  4. MB
    MB January 21, 2014 at 10:44 am .

    Why do I write? To purge my soul. What keeps me going? It’s like being in labor to deliver a child–it might hurt to go on, but it hurts so much more to try and stop. I write because I’m totally seduced by the fantasy of other people reading my words and being somehow changed. I keep going because the alternative is laundry and a dirty kitchen floor.

  5. Saytchyn
    Saytchyn January 21, 2014 at 11:05 am .

    When is your birthday? I’m getting you a stalker.
    Good post, Aaron.

  6. Patricia Stoltey
    Patricia Stoltey January 21, 2014 at 12:38 pm .

    Aaron, you speak to so many of us with this post. We do tend to be our own worst enemies when it comes to writing.

  7. Yolanda Renee
    Yolanda Renee January 21, 2014 at 12:40 pm .

    I write because it makes me whole! Wonderful, thoughtful post and describes the life, my life almost to a T – love it, hate it, DO IT!

  8. Lexi Butler
    Lexi Butler January 21, 2014 at 1:39 pm .

    I write because the stories in my brain will drive me mad if I don’t get them out and make room for other things. Also, every time I reread a classic, whose words that have lived on through centuries, I dream of my words living like that. Or, one of my author friends words living like that.

  9. Julie Kazimer
    Julie Kazimer January 21, 2014 at 3:38 pm .

    As always, great post, lots to think about but I think I’d rather waste an hour on the internet. Congrats on the new release. Can’t wait to read it.

  10. Dean K Miller
    Dean K Miller January 21, 2014 at 6:06 pm .

    Slow reader…an hour wasted? No wait, not wasted…but hour is gone. Why I write? Because it happens. After an hour on the river fly fishing, my heart/mind finally got along and words began appearing in my brain/thoughts. Now I get to write them for the future. I write because I can, because I want to, because others won’t. It’s either writing, or non-stop nachos and beer, which won’t last nearly as long as writing.

  11. Lisa Snider
    Lisa Snider January 21, 2014 at 10:18 pm .

    I write because I suck a lot more at everything else. Seriously. I even tried guitar once. My hand swelled up like a balloon. Plus, I’m tone deaf. Hey, that would make a good story.

  12. Giles Hash
    Giles Hash January 22, 2014 at 6:31 am .

    I know exactly how you feel. I’ve been there off and on since the conference. I finished a project, I took on several responsibilities that wore me out, both at home and at my day job, and then I fell into the pattern of excuses.

    I’m excited for you book! Keep ‘em coming.

  13. Amanda Helms
    Amanda Helms January 22, 2014 at 9:39 am .

    Awesome post, Aaron! I’m still dealing with reentry shock as I try to get going on a new project (which is actually a revision of an old one). Much-needed kick.

    I write because every time I read a book that makes me feel joy or sadness or anger or satisfaction, every time I read a book that reminds me of the beauty and the awfulness of being human, I want to make others feel that, too.

    What keeps me going? I know what I’m like when I “let myself” not write for too long, and it’s better for myself and everyone around me if I keep writing. And because if I don’t write, I can’t touch people in the way I want.

  14. Steve J
    Steve J January 22, 2014 at 10:45 am .

    I write (code) to pay the bills. I write (code) because it triggers my dopamine cycle. I write (code) so I don’t have to talk to people. I write (code) because it’s the only thing I’m really good at.

  15. Kathleen O'Donnell
    Kathleen O'Donnell January 22, 2014 at 1:36 pm .

    I write because I can do it lying down and in my pajamas. Oh…and sometimes I have a reasonably kick ass story to tell. I love the writing. It’s the self promotion I hate. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google +…I think I’ll call my next novel Love Live the Self Promoting Asshole Suicide King.

  16. Andrea Stein
    Andrea Stein January 22, 2014 at 3:20 pm .

    Hate to tell you this, but your evil twin, Skippy is writing some Kick–ss stuff. Maybe he does it by burning the midnight oil? I write simply cause I can’t stop.

  17. Aaron Ritchey
    Aaron Ritchey January 22, 2014 at 6:30 pm .

    Thanks for the comments. And yes, writing will last longer than nonstop nachos and beer. Thanks Dean. Steve J, you are awesome at coding and yes, the dopamine. Andrea, I hate that Skippy guy. He steals all the good lines. Amanda, another quotable comment. “The beauty and the awfulness of being human.” And Kathleen O. For me, at every step of the game, the journey of writing books has asked me to do more than I am capable of doing, to be more than I am. At first it was getting into the rhythm of writing, the sacrifice of it, and then when I got my first book published, it was the online social media stuff that scared the hole bejesus out of me. I couldn’t do it. I had to get help. My day job is IT stuff, but I was too afraid to get a Facebook account, I had to pay someone to do it for me. All of this terrifies me day after day after day. And yet, my job is to walk through the fear or else suffocate in it. I’m not going to die today. I’m not going to give up. I will do the things that scare me. For today. Thanks all!

  18. John Paul McKinney
    John Paul McKinney January 23, 2014 at 1:41 pm .

    I write because I’m incredibly good at it and my friends (both of them) are dying to read what I have to say.

  19. Jamie Judson
    Jamie Judson January 23, 2014 at 4:06 pm .

    I write because language is amazing. It can be folded and molded and dissected and made to do our bidding. And when done just right, beautiful poetry and prose emerges.

  20. CCKize
    CCKize January 24, 2014 at 3:03 pm .

    I love that you refer to the buttcrack of Dawn. Your colorful, but down to earth writing style is appreciated.

  21. Jaxine Daniels
    Jaxine Daniels January 24, 2014 at 4:07 pm .

    I blame the Broncos, Aaron. I am stuck in research Purgatory. Dan says I need to start writing. I say I don’t have all the facts I need. I have worked a bit on the new website for the project. But haven’t written any fiction either. I shall blame the Broncos. Amen

  22. Sheri Duff Merz
    Sheri Duff Merz January 27, 2014 at 9:05 pm .

    Great. Now I’m a problem too. I can’t remember the last time I sat down to write. I think it was that nano thing. And I think you have many stalkers.

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