on writing nothing



There are so many words I don’t write because I don’t feel qualified to write them. It’s a sentence that would be so easy to delete, but I’m going to let it lie there.

I wanted to write about fashion and I wanted to write about travel, but became so consumed with the question of how that I stopped. The topics are too big, too complicated, too messy. Where to begin? Where to steer the conversation? What form should it take?

I find that current forms of these topics are outdated or insufficient: the style blog, with its carefully curated images and sometimes-secret sponsors; the travel blog, with its self-aggrandizing tone. How many take into consideration questions of race, gender, and privilege when they pen a post? These are unfair generalities, of course, and the short answer is that that’s not what those blogs or websites are about. And that’s okay, because we need both.

We need Beyonce and bell hooks. We need spaces to explore the ecological implications of what we wear and how we move through the world, alongside an appreciation of those wares and wanderings. We need time to figure out what that looks like, but we also need to get something out there.

That’s the fine line of the creative process along which I balance: waiting until I’ve found what it is I want to say and how to say it, but not waiting so long that it becomes procrastination, avoidance, or resistance rooted in fear. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and it doesn’t have to be ready, and we don’t have to be completely “qualified,” whatever that means. It just has to be, because writing nothing says something, so we might as well say something.



  1. I will use this in my class next week. Asking the students about form, structure, and forum, always produces the best stuff. Thank you.

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