It’s Okay to Be Selfish with Your Writing

Written by A Guest Author | June 1, 2017

By Adrienne Reiter

Anthony Bourdain claims his best writing is done first thing in the morning half asleep over coffee. Truman Capote claimed to write best hungover when half his brain was out of the way. Writing isn’t just about creation. It’s equally about destruction. As writers, we dismantle our original ideas and fabrications to give birth to the genuine. We all know where our writing sweet spot is. Guard these hours selfishly!

Creating and destroying our imaginary worlds require time, space, and action. Home, work, family, life, the distractions are endless. It’s easy to get caught up in our “more practical” and “less theoretical” chores. This is when writers stop being writers. It’s also what makes writing an act of physical courage. Writing requires stamina, strength, and perseverance. Showing up is half the battle.

Writing is never a waste of time! The saying is, 100,000 hours makes a master. It’s not 100,000 genius hours. It’s not 100,000 talented or prolific hours. It’s just 100,000 hours of work. It doesn’t have to be quality. We write to write to perfection.

You’re probably thinking, “But I feel so bad for not making enough money, isolating myself, (insert “more practical crap” here).”

Writing is inherently impractical, and the world needs more of it! Evolutionary Cosmologist, Brian Swimme puts it succinctly. “By pursuing your allurements, you help bind the universe together. The unity of the world rests on the pursuit of your passion.” If you feel moved to write, the sin is not to. Our fall from grace as a society is in our lack of imagination. Everything is constructed by the creative energy of the universe. Proof of this is found in the laws of thermodynamics.

Like Bourdain and Capote, I prefer to write in my sleepy hours curled inside the subtle feelings of consciousness. Right when I wake up I compose with a pad and pen over coffee, later to be transferred and edited onto my laptop when I’m no longer hanging out in those more subtler realms. Only right out of my dream state am I able to sequester my rational, critical intelligence to work within these realms.

I know writers who work exclusively in the evenings. As we are all physiologically different, we are unique creatively. Yet, it’s equally hard to train ourselves to push our self-doubts out of the way. Artists often feel less than when they’re not successful commercially. It’s this modern thinking that we need to deconstruct. This deforms our imagination. Our economy is like a machine. If it’s warped, it doesn’t work. We keep writing because we must.

Whether it’s late in the evening, first thing in the morning, or for three days in a row, your writing time is sacred and needs protecting. Selfishly treat your writing as your most important work. Everything else is just paying the bills and making ends meet. If you write the same time everyday your brain adapts and after repetition will automatically switch to ‘writing mode’ during these times. If you don’t have a writing routine, start one. Right now. Today!


Bio: Adrienne Reiter writes mystery, speculative, and literary fiction. In May ’17 she’ll be an MFA graduate from, California Institute of Integral Studies. She is both traditionally and independently published. Adrienne lives in San Francisco. Her dog, Peaches does bad things. You can find links to her work and blogs at www.adriennereiter.com.