- There are too many novels already.
- Writing lacks any sort of merit or mystery because pretty much everyone learns to write in some way.
- It won't make you rich, or even able to live off your writing.
- It won't make you famous, and it would be a ridiculous way to try to get famous when there are so many easier ways.
- Novels are forgotten almost immediately - within a few years of being written.
- It doesn't flatter your ego because you don't watch people enjoying your art (unlike, say, actors) and even if you happen to get good reviews, pretty much nobody else will read them.
- The life of a writer is not an easy one - full of insecurity, isolation and an "ambiguous relationship with reality."
- Writing novels allows you to spend your time in the fictional world which is "the most bearable place to be".
I agree that the novelist "can live in the realm of what might have been and never was, and therefore in the land of what is still possible, of what will always be about to happen, what has not yet been dismissed as having happened already or because everyone knows it will never happen" - but not necessarily that this is superior to the real world or the sole reason to become a novelist. However, I do love his description of this world we create in novels and the article is worth reading just for that. I also love his description of novel-writing as "the rather modest and pleasing art of inventing and telling stories". That's exactly how I would want to put it!
So what do you think the best reasons to write novels are?