A Book About Nothing

Not only am I addicted to photography, but to writing as well. I would love to do nothing but both for the rest of my life, and I would be happy. This horrible thing we call a “job” does nothing but get in the way of the time I need to devote to both, but still I push on. I challenged myself recently to write a “Book About Nothing”. This was my result.


I was told that you can’t write a book about nothing. Hmm, let’s see if that’s true. Actually I once wrote a poem about nothing and it turned out quite well, but then I realized the problem with writing about nothing, is that the subject of nothing itself, is actually something. This is what is known as a conundrum as well as a catch 22. So, while I should try to write a book about nothing and could go on for multitudes of pages, the problem would always be that nothing is actually something and would defeat the whole purpose of trying. I could write on and on and basically say nothing, you know, talk in circles and all, but there again, what I am writing becomes something.

I imagine the first goal to accomplish in this scenario would be to literally define “nothing”. The dictionary defines the word nothing as: nothing >pronoun 1 not anything. 2 something of no importance or concern. 3 nought. >adverb not at all. -PHRASES for nothing 1 without payment or charge. 2 to no purpose. nothing but only. Nothing doing informal 1 there is no prospect of success or agreement. 2 nothing is happening. Sweet nothings words of affection exchanged by lovers. Think nothing of it do not apologize or feel bound to show gratitude. -ORIGIN Old English.

If I were to go by definitions 1, “not anything” and 3, “nought”, then basically, I should be writing nothing at all.

Using definition 2, “something of no importance or concern,” I could actually write about many subjects that were actually of no importance or concern, but then they would be subjects and the point of the book would be moot. Also, the problem with number 2 is that “something of no importance or concern” is discerned by the interpreter. Whereas one person may think that taking out the garbage is of no importance or concern, I might be an obsessive, compulsive person and to me, taking out the garbage is of the utmost importance and concern in my life. Wherefore, definition number 2 leaves a lot to be interpreted.

If I were to use the example above of “Sweet nothings”, well, I would really have a huge subject area in which to write, so that definition would really not apply here at all.

Another area to conquer here is how many pages constitute a book? I am quite sure there are many definitions on that subject, but one that I do not care to approach because that would then be adding the subject of “something” to this book.
It is clear to me at this point that I should go by definition 1 and stop writing. I dare say though, I’ve actually approached writing a book about nothing, but when you look at it from the viewpoint that nothing is actually a subject, and a subject is actually something, then all I’ve really done here is write a book about the subject of nothing, and have failed to accomplish my goal.

Excellent stab at it though!

© 2008 – Kimberly Miller – All Rights Reserved

A Book About Nothing

Kimberly Miller

COOS BAY, United States

  • Artwork Comments 3

Artwork Comments

  • Bev Woodman
  • Kimberly Miller
  • Bev Woodman
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10% off

for joining the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.