Happy Tuesday everyone! Today we have another guest contribution, one that I find very interesting considering how much I chastise myself if I don’t write every single day – which in my mind, signifies that I’m not a dedicated writer. Mike’s post reminds me that I need to write more for the love of it, not only out of duty. For that, thanks, Mike!
Are You a Selfish Writer?
by Mike Karg
“I have a confession to make – I don’t write every day.”
How often do you hear this guilty disclosure from your fellow writers? Why the guilt? The idea behind writing daily is to become a better writer, but to what end?
Why do you really write? To enlighten the world with your singular genius? To “tell stories that must be told”? To bask in the adoration of fans? To bathe in filthy riches? To be the most aloof and mysterious, black turtleneck-wearing hipster on your block? Sure, those are all swell and admirable goals. But, unless there is something primal driving your frenzied fingers, I think you’re doing it wrong.
Like exercise or dieting or schooling, we’re inundated with tricks to endure routines to better ourselves for some goal at the end. Shouldn’t the means to the end make you happy? Biking glorious trails outside is joy. Doesn’t that beat slogging away stationary miles staring at some LED screen? Foraging black raspberries on a dewy summer morning offers happiness now. How is keeping caloric spreadsheets and denying treats to someday fit those jeans a proper way to enjoy life? Writing to solve the riddle of the passage before me is the sweetness I crave. Publication may happen someday. I write that I may dream today.
The heart as a symbol for passion and generosity is an apt metaphor. But it’s also instructive to realize the heart is a visceral, selfish beast. This mighty organ gathers freshly oxygenated blood from the lungs and pumps it to the whole body with every beat. But what tissue receives blood first? The heart itself, via the coronary arteries. To stay viable, it must be selfish. It must first nourish itself, and only then can it pulse and feed the entire body.
I believe writing must first nourish the writer. Immediately. Selfishly. Viscerally. Passionately. Joyfully. Heartily.
Thanks again, Mike! And remember – if you would like to submit to As The Eraser Burns, follow the guidelines above.
Happy writing and drawing!