Blogging Insights — Non-writing Writers

For her weekly Blogging Insights prompts, Dr. Tanya provides us with a quote about blogging or writing and asks us to express our opinion about said quote.

This week’s quote is from German-language writer of visionary fiction, Franz Kafka.

“A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.”

Like most Kafka quotes and much of what he wrote, I found this quote to be rather “Kafkaesque,” meaning odd, peculiar, strange, surreal, unusual, and weird.

What does he mean by a “non-writing writer”? Is that someone who is not a writer but who attempts to write? Or is he talking about someone who is a writer but is not, for whatever reason, writing?

In either case, I am unclear why a non-writing writer should be considered to be a monster, or why not writing would be “courting insanity.”

I like to write, although I don’t think of myself as a “writer.” I enjoy blogging, but if, for whatever reason, I stopped blogging, I don’t believe that would turn me some kind of monster and don’t think that not writing/blogging would bring on any degree of insanity. I would miss it, yes, but I am pretty sure I’d remain sane.

Maybe I’m taking Kafka’s quote too literally, but I guess I would sum up my opinion about this particular quote in one word, which would be “huh?”

19 thoughts on “Blogging Insights — Non-writing Writers

  1. drtanya@saltedcaramel October 18, 2021 / 6:41 am

    I agree that the quote is somewhat exaggerated but I think that Kafka is trying to say that a writer who for whatever reason is unable to write will not feel optimum or will sorely miss it.

    When I look at these quotes I assume that writer and blogger can be used interchangeably.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. RuthScribbles October 18, 2021 / 6:43 am

    Yes! That statement is very idiotic and elitist. Ug. The wars between writers and artists and photographers is insane! Drives me bonkers!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lou Carreras October 18, 2021 / 7:00 am

    I took the quote to imply that a creative person who can’t, or worse won’t, create becomes monstrous. It’s like erecting a dam on a river- when the pressure is released it makes a flood.

    I’m not sure that I agree with that interpretation because I think that there are many creative styles and many outlets.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango October 18, 2021 / 1:13 pm

      I agree. Not being able to do what you want to do can be frustrating, but is probably not monstrous or insanity inducing.


  4. Melanie B Cee October 18, 2021 / 8:29 am

    I ‘get’ what he’s saying (does that make me insane? 🤪) , but I’m a writer. I’ve always known that, and putting the plug in the tub drain (so to speak) and building up lots and lots of ‘water’ (stories, poems, blogs, commentary or whatever) causes exactly what Tanya said in her post “Increased stress and tension” and for me personally a helluva lot of mind noise. But I can see where the man over exaggerated his point too, as you point out.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Paula Light October 18, 2021 / 9:21 am

    It doesn’t apply to me. In fact, sometimes I’m better off zoning out in front of the tv rather than pouring out my feelings onto the page, however “fictionalized.” I’m fine when not writing and more of a monster when I’m consumed with getting words out to the point where I can’t sleep…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango October 18, 2021 / 2:55 pm

      Yeah, I can relate. Sometimes brainless binge-watching is just the ticket.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Marleen October 18, 2021 / 11:22 am

    I like how you looked at the quotation in two different ways. I agree with your take, too, of “Huh?” He might’ve been just been talking about himself.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Marilyn Armstrong October 18, 2021 / 12:55 pm

    There’s a reason why strange quote are often called “Kafkaesque.” He was a strange dude. I AM a writer and if I couldn’t publish, I could still write. It wouldn’t be as much fun, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t loosen my brain and drive me mad. Even if I couldn’t write at all, I’m pretty sure I’d survive.

    Maybe it would have driven KAFKA mad?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango October 18, 2021 / 1:26 pm

      I agree. Perhaps frustrating but not maddening.


  8. Taswegian1957 October 18, 2021 / 3:23 pm

    That’s a pretty odd quote. Maybe the meaning got lost in translation. I think calling someone monstrous for not writing is a little unfair. There are many reasons why a writer may not be writing. I do get a little frustrated when I don’t get time to blog but I don’t think I’m turning into a monster.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango October 18, 2021 / 5:10 pm

      I agree. The quote sounds a bit extreme.


  9. leigha66 November 6, 2021 / 4:54 pm

    When I first saw your title I thought of the bloggers who often do more sharing of others posts than doing their own writing. I don’t have a problem with a reblog, it has just always puzzled me why they are on a blog site if they rarely write. BUT this is about the quote… I agree with “huh?”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 6, 2021 / 11:07 pm

      Yes, I don’t get why some bloggers mostly reblog other bloggers’ posts rather than creating their own.

      Liked by 1 person

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