1. Because I’m not. I’m just not.
2. In the 8th grade, my art teacher, Blythe (a much more creative name than mine), told me that I had the artistic ability of a 2nd grader. Highly degrading, yet honest and clarifying.
3. Despite Blythe’s assessment, I tried to succeed in many different artistic fields. I barely scraped passed the novice level in most of them. Then I landed on being a writer, since I’ve known how to spell since I was quite young.
4. The only thing I’ve created this month is this list. This numerically ordered list.
5. An artist suffers for her work. I suffer, but not for my work. In fact, my work suffers for me.
6. I’m not starving either. I like to eat.
7. I’m actually pretty good at math.
8. One time, when I thought I would be a television writer, a teacher said, “unless you truly can’t imagine doing anything else with your career besides writing, you shouldn’t put yourself through this work.” I got the hell out of that classroom and have been searching for my career ever since.
9. My fate brought me to Los Angeles on two separate occasions and then my fate made me hate Los Angeles and media and artists, so I got the hell out of that city. On neither occasion did I produce work.
10. I have tried to own my identity as a writer; I have refused my identity as a writer and moved on. Then I got sucked back into my identity as a writer, and throughout this whole process I didn’t actually write a damn thing.
11. I like following the instructions. They are helpful and friendly. How are you supposed to know how to build the Millennium Falcon out of Legos without instructions?
12. I can’t even write in a diary. I self-edit while I dairy – that’s how unfit I am to be an artist.
13. Everything I write sucks.
14. I’m not even sure I like writing. I would rather be in class all day. I only write when I procrastinate from homework. It’s amazing how many times in my life I have felt that my writing career is “truly about to take off,” at the exact moment that I have other things keeping me busy.
15. I’ve never been tempted to dye my hair.
16. I don’t have any tattoos. I have always wanted a tattoo, but I, like in my writing, have been waiting for inspiration for 4 years.
17. I want to be liked and I hate being misunderstood.
18. I’m in it for all the wrong reasons. I just want a million people to read my words and laugh with me.
19. When I’m lonely, I call up my friends to keep me company because I don’t want to be alone with paper and pen.
20. I do not get in the zone. If I’m writing and I think someone is even watching a commercial on TV in the room next door, I gotta go in there and be a part of the action.
21. Sometimes I can see a finished project in my head, or rather, I can see the spirit of the finished project in my head. Then I just sit at my desk with my mouth hanging open until drool drips onto the blank page in front of me. A real artist would at least call that water coloring.
22. I’m not sure I believe in free love. I’m just a lady looking to be monogamous with another lady. How uncreative is that?
23. I tried. I swear to God I have tried. In high school, I took photography and I created one or two haunting, death-themed series. But then I ran out of ideas. Then in college, I pursued a film certificate and made one lousy script then ran out of ideas. Don’t say I didn’t try. I did!
24. I made this list of 24 reasons to represent all the years of my life that I have not been a real artist, which is to say, all of them.