Columns > Published on September 21st, 2015

35 Reasons You Are a Terrible Writer and Should Give Up Immediately

01. You couldn’t think of an interesting or humorous introduction to your latest article.

02. You stared at a blank screen for more than ten minutes without writing a single word.

03. You tried writing longhand and the tip of your pencil broke.

04. You tried with a pen and became frustrated with the constant scratch-outs.

05. You tried erasing the scratch-outs with white-out and accidentally spilled it over the entire page.

06. You tried writing on a typewriter and your brother laughed and asked what happened to your fedora.

07. You went to a coffee house.

08. You went to a coffee house and spent more time trying to decide what to order than you did actually writing.

09. You went to a coffee house and couldn’t write due to a massive brain freeze from your caramel Frappuccino.

10. You went to a coffee house and they played your least favorite Mumford & Sons song, so you didn’t feel inspired.

11. You couldn’t find your muse.

12. You never had a muse.

13. You don’t know what the word “muse’ means, so you are not amused.

14. People keep asking why they can’t find your novel in their local bookstores.

15. Someone asked how much you make being a writer.

16. Someone asked why you don’t quit your day job.

17. You stared at your computer screen so long your eyes began to bleed and maggots burst from your brain and still you did not write anything all day.

18. You spend more time looking at porn than you do a Word document.

19. You thought you’d write better if you got drunk so you drank until you fell asleep on your couch.

20. You turned on Netflix as “background noise” and ended up binging through all five seasons of Breaking Bad for the seventh time. Meanwhile, your laptop fell into hibernation back in episode one.

21. You haven’t taken a shower in over a week, so you smell like garbage and feel too dirty to sit in front of your computer.

22. You just took a shower and you are too clean. Bukowski was never clean. You are a phony and soon everybody is going to realize it.

23. You are not currently suffering from a mental disorder.

24. You had a decent childhood. Your parents never hit you. There was always food on the table. You’ve never had to stand awkwardly outside a pawnshop. Fuck you, you well-off bastard. Go put on a suit and work in some corporate office.

25. You couldn’t decide what genre you were writing.

26. You couldn’t think of the perfect title despite not having written a single word of the story.

27. You’re too distracted wondering what a side character will order on his pizza in book seven of the series to focus on chapter one of book one.

28. You still haven’t decided on a marketing tagline for the unwritten book series, so why bother living?

29. You have never become literally possessed by one of your characters. That’s what happens to all the other writers. In interviews, they always say the characters had a life of their own. The characters wrote the book for them. But nobody’s writing shit for you. You suck.

30. You forgot to post on Facebook about how difficult it is to be a writer.

31. You couldn’t settle on a hair color for your protagonist.

32. You didn’t reach a word count goal, so you set your laptop on fire.

33. Your favorite pants weren’t dry yet, so you decided to watch TV instead.

34. Your favorite pants were too dry, so you went back to sleep.

35. You spent all of your time reading articles about writing instead of actually writing.

About the author

Max Booth III is the CEO of Ghoulish Books, the host of the GHOULISH and Dog Ears podcasts, the co-founder of the Ghoulish Book Festival, and the author of several spooky books, including Abnormal Statistics, Maggots Screaming!, Touch the Night, and others. He wrote both the novella and film versions of We Need to Do Something, which was released by IFC Midnight in 2021 and can currently be streamed on Hulu. He was raised in Northwest Indiana and now lives in San Antonio.

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