Critic: Why don’t you write? Isn’t that the one and only, the single, most obvious rule that you must follow: Do not stop writing? And yet you did stop, so…

Writer: Yep.

Critic: So, that makes you pathetic. A real low life. A writer who doesn’t write.

Writer: Have you ever read anything I’ve written? Here is a book. Please, read it.

[The Writer offers the Critic a free book]

Critic: No, I haven’t, and–I’ll be honest–I won’t read this book.

[The Critic returns the book to the Writer]

Critic: You aren’t committed to your craft, so how good can this book be? It will be mediocre; I don’t have to read the book to know your work is mediocre.

Writer: Doesn’t that explain my problem?

Critic: No. If you continue to write, you will eventually become readable and I’ll read you then–after a lot of other people draw my attention to your work as proof that it isn’t a waste of my time. Maybe. Based on your clothing and your smell, I assume I don’t read in your genre. But maybe I would.

Writer: So I am mediocre. That’s what you mean. If I was interesting, and I wrote a single book, you would read it.

Critic: Yes, that’s right. If you smelled interesting, I would read your book. Haha.

Writer: Write mediocre, live mediocre; live marvels, write marvels.

Critic: That’s a cute expression.

Writer: When I attempt to write in genre for someone like you, my life stops and ebbs into mediocrity. One does not write first and then live afterward; one lives, and afterward writes about the life.

Critic: I disagree; I know hundreds of intellectuals who sit in libraries and coffee shops daily and churn out important new critical works that help solve important social problems in our late Capitalistic society.

Writer: Yep.