Do you need to write first thing in the morning?

I attended a writing workshop at a literature festival last year and I had a discussion with a gentleman there who held what I felt was a rather silly view. It soon turned out however that he was not the only one who held this view, as such I feel it would be quite reasonable to speak about it here.

As you may have guessed this particular point of view was as follows: you must get up early in the morning and write first thing. Before you watch the TV, listen to the radio or indeed read anything. His thought process was that if you did consume media, for lack of a better description, before you write then your own personal style and writing will be tainted or in some way changed by what you have consumed.

At first consideration this may seem reasonable, until you think about it, at which point. If you are like me (and of course that is a big if) you will see that it is truly rather silly. After all what are we if not the collected things we have seen, done and heard in our lifetime?

It is my opinion that while there may be very good reasons to write first thing in the morning the above is not one of them.

To anyone who thinks they are at danger of being poluted by what they experience in the day prior to writing I would say this. Do you write in English? Oh you do….did you learn English today? No…you didn’t? Well then you are openly admiting that something that happened to you PRIOR to you waking this morning is informing the way you write. A language is obviously a big thing but it serves to get the point across. You will be informed by the books you have read, the films you have seen and indeed the languages you have learnt. I say jolly good work, for what boring things would we write if we had no inspiration.

The point of this post would be this, there is no right way to write and there is no wrong way. If it works for you, if it helps you, then do it (provided it is legal and morally just of course.) Do not let anyone else tell you how and when you should write, just write.

I shall leave you with this, let us think the unthinkable, let us write the unwriteable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.

Ja Ne.


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