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How To Not Write In 40 Easy Steps

by Alex Iwashyna

in Awkward, Writing and Blogging

1. Open up computer.

2. Stare at blank page in wordprocessing application.

3. Check Facebook.

4. Toggle back and forth between Facebook and blank page in the hopes that writing has begun without you.

5. Stare out window willing something inspiring like aliens or F. Scott Fitzgerald characters to appear.

6. See only purple flowers and two Blue Jays.

7. Wonder if the Jays are fighting, mating or mocking your ability to write.

8. Rest cheek on fist.

9. Insert defeated look.

10. Check Twitter.

11. Click over and accidentally read the best written article you’ve seen in a long time.

12. Refuse to comment because you may use up all your writing ability trying to be as witty and insightful as the writer.

13. Read the about page of witty writer.

14. Wonder why you aren’t friends.

15. Click over to blank page and type: Friends.

13. Think about Joey and Chandler and why you cared so much if Rachel and that guy whose name you can’t even remember oh yeah, Ross, ever got together.

14. Wish there was a coffee shop in your house.

15. Consider going to a coffee shop for inspiration in the form of muffins.

16. Get up to pee instead.

17. Don’t wash your hands because getting sick could be very inspiring. Also, if readers find out you didn’t wash your hands, no one will steal your stuff when your famous because EW.

18. Think: “Ew” looks weird.

19. Google it only to find Entertainment Weekly filling the entire first page of the search.

20. Examine your toes.

21. Everything looks in order so go back to staring at your computer

22. Regret not writing down the hilarious and poignant 4 a.m. idea for a viral blog and a world-famous novel.

23. Wonder if the hyphen for world-famous is correct. Review tweets on hyphens.

23. Re-read article on how hyphens don’t really have rules but still feel concerned about them.

24. Worry the grammar police of twitter who once mocked you for spelling grammar with an e, as in grammer, will find you again.

25. Decide to shove all your degrees down the grammar police’s throat.

26. Remember that your degrees are in political philosophy and medicine. Also remember that violence is not the answer.

27. Decide to never tweet again.

28. Remember that cowardice isn’t the answer either. Be disappointed.

29. Think: Is the grammar police thinking of me at this exact moment?

30. Get the chills.

31. Check writing page to see if any hyphens have appeared.

32. Delete the word, Friends, because every one of your friends in real life will think it’s a blog post about them but only 3 will have the guts to ask. The rest will get new, non-blogging, friends but still secretly read your blog but never share it with anyone even when the post is really awesome because they are reading it IN SECRET since they now hate you.

33. Realize you do that.

34. Decide to never admit to it.

35. Close blank page on computer for mocking you.

36. Be offended when computer asks if you want to save your writing failure.

37. Save it as Writing Failure for pure irony.

38. Wonder about tainted irony.

39. Laugh at the word taint.

40. Turn on the television and fall asleep.


Haha {sigh}

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristin March 28, 2012 1

It’s like you’re in my head. Only I never think about Friends, the tv show, mostly just HGTV. You know, my ‘OMG, it’s so better than I could of imagined’ reveal face.


Late Enough March 28, 2012 2

haha. If I had cable, I would probably broaden my tv show mind wandering horizons. At least we’re not alone in the mind wandering part.


Rob R March 28, 2012 3

I was going to leave a witty comment but Im afraid I’d end up in your position.


Katie March 28, 2012 4

everything about this = yes.

especially giggling at the word “taint”.

and my grammar police paranoia is always high because I “should know better”.


Jenn G March 28, 2012 5

And you have just described why I don’t blog more often. I am very successful at using most if not all of your techniques. (But am secretly mad that you thought about blogging them before me and now I must delete this and only read in secret :).


Sarah March 28, 2012 6

Oh, I have so done this before!


erin margolin March 28, 2012 7

LOVE this, Alex. This is precisely how I do it. I’m an expert.
p.s. I always wanted Ross and Rachel to be together. I hated the idea of her with Joey. LOL


Abby March 28, 2012 8

I’m with ya. My creativity has been on the fritz lately.


Krista March 28, 2012 9

Number 11? Exactly. Every.Single.Stupid.Time! And then 12, too.

Then I wonder if they’ll notice my URL visited their URL and then notice there is no post from URL so then they secretly hate me for not being responsible enough or kind enough or sharing enough or creative enough or whatever enough to write a comment.

Stupid brain.

But sleep cures everything…or at least creative blocks. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.


Tracie March 28, 2012 10

This pretty much describes the last three weeks of my life.


Julia March 28, 2012 11

Hilarious. I also am a sicker for Friends re-runs and trivia.


Kristin March 28, 2012 12


Log onto YouTube and spend two hours watching clips from the North and South – a nearly 30-year-old mini-series about the Civil War that stars Patrick Swayze – just because there was this one scene that you just HAD to see, like, IMMEDIATELY because it popped into your mind for some strange reason while you were thinking about Don and Betty’s hate sex on Mad Men (because the Civil War and Mad Men are the same).

Anyway. That’s what I did tonight.

Instead of writing.


Linda March 28, 2012 13

I’m glad I’m not the only one…


The Mommy Psychologist March 29, 2012 14

Love 13. But how could you not remember his name?


Rachel March 29, 2012 15

Great post! It’s like me except I’m checking Twitter and Facebook about twice as much and repeat numbers 12-14 ad nauseum.


Walt March 29, 2012 16

I know what “Taint” is [HA HA HA].
1. Alex’s post does not inspire me.
2. Sigh
3. Play Backyard Monsters.


Skye March 30, 2012 17

Toggling back and forth between random internet pages and blank word documents is exactly how I try to write grad school papers. I feel your pain.


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