Why I Don’t Write

Explorer © 1990 Jane Waterman
Explorer © 1990 Jane Waterman

Last night I was reading a chapter from Natalie Goldberg’s “Writing Down the Bones”. She encourages us to think often on the reasons why we write. For a long time, technical writing aside, I didn’t write. So, I thought it might be instructive to brainstorm on “why I don’t write” first. My initial tendency is to respond in generalities, so I’ll have to practice another of Goldberg’s suggestions another time: write the details.

Why I don’t write:

  • fear that I will run out of words
  • fear of not being able to write
  • fear of not being able to say what I want to say
  • fear that someone will judge what I say
  • fear that I will judge what I say
  • fear of not finding the right words
  • fear that I will not convey my meaning accurately
  • fear that people will not understand my meaning
  • fear of exposing my soul to the world
  • memories of childhood criticism
  • memories of my childhood writing friend, whom I don’t write to anymore
  • fear that I’m too old and my opportunity to be heard is past
  • fear that I’m too young and that I haven’t yet the wisdom to be heard
  • fear of criticism
  • fear of writing but not being read
  • because i have a headache
  • because i’m tired
  • because i want to sleep

Now I feel ready to say why I write:

  • i don’t have a choice – i’ll die if i don’t
  • there are words streaming through me and it’s my responsibility to write them down
  • i want to be heard
  • i want to be visible
  • i want to untangle the big mess of thoughts and feelings from the last 45 and a half years
  • i want to make a difference
  • i want to inspire
  • i want to live



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Jane Waterman

Hi, I’m Jane! I create blogs, fiction, art, and adaptive yoga as I seek peace and healing in this strange and sometimes beautiful world. I’ve been chronically ill and probably crazy for 30 years, but I try not to let it stop me!

Please visit the about page to learn more about me and my hopes for this community! If you’d like to support my work, please visit my tip jar at ko-fi.com/jane or my ongoing creative projects at patreon.com/janewaterman.



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