10 Reasons I Can’t Bring Myself to Hit “Publish”
It starts with an idea. “Oooh, this is interesting! I want to write that!” So I write the first draft. Then there’s crying. But I pull myself together and sit down to revise the draft. More crying.
I try again, cry again, and realize it’s time for the crucial decision: To hit “Publish” or not? After putting time and effort into a piece of writing, why would I leave it to rot in my hard drive? Why would I waste all that work?
Trust me, I always have a good reason.
1. The title is terrible.
In the era of digital publishing, titles are more important than ever. How do I convey the substance and nuance of my piece in a one liner that is clever, yet leaves the reader wanting more? HOW?
2. It’s not timely anymore. I took too long.
God damn my lack of impulsiveness! I just had to research the topic. I just had to rewrite it. I just had to sleep on it. Now no one is talking about that picture of a black hole and they won’t read my treatise on how it’s a cosmological metaphor for the implosion of Western society!
I am a delicate flower with an ego made of glass.
3. People will say terrible things in the comments.
The internet is full of mean people saying mean things and I am a delicate flower with an ego made of glass and self-worth that can be destroyed by a stranger’s digital shrieks.
4. I don’t know enough about this.
Every topic, every event has millennia of history! How did we get here? Where will we go next? Who has been studying this phenomena for years? How can I possibly publish this 800 word blog post without reading The International Encyclopedia of Black Hole History?
5. I will regret this post.
Six months from now, I will be desperate for a job and, unbeknownst to me, it will be this post that makes the manager hate me. ANY MISTAKE CAN BE CATASTROPHIC.
If I publish this, I will starve penniless and alone.
6. This article could be better.
If I just keep reading and writing and editing and working until my fingertips bleed and my eyeballs dry out, then it will be perfect. Finally, this piece on the moral quandary of watching Dance Moms will be as brilliant and profound as I envisioned.
7. People will laugh at me.
For reasons I can’t even foresee, this blog is completely stupid and wrong. I am stupid and wrong. I am made of failure and everyone who reads this will see it and laugh at me and then I will die. Penniless and alone.
8. No one will read this anyway.
The blogs and essays I work hardest on get the least amount of recognition. The harder I work, the more disappointed I am.
No one wants substance. DANCE CLOWN, DANCE!
9. It doesn’t flow. Why won’t it flow? FLOW damn it!
This all made perfect sense in my head. Why does it read like I picked each sentence out of a bag blindfolded. In my brain, these ideas are an exquisite symphony of insight. The words on this page are the drunk rambling of a semi-literate toaster.
10. I am RUINING THE WORLD.
What makes me think that what I think matters? There are seven billion people on this earth and I want people to read my puny, insignificant thoughts? This is how the publishing and journalism industries are falling apart. Dumb people like me flood the internet with so much unremarkable content that words lose meaning and truth ceases to exist.