• Tyler E. C. Burnworth

Get High on Your Own Supply

Updated: Jul 10

As writers, we hold the blank page in constant contention.

Mortal enemies that rise up to do battle again and again without ceasing. To win the war, we must win the battle.




The streets that lead to Noveltown are littered with distractions: neon signs of Twitter posts, flashing lights of Instagram feeds, TikTok videos on every corner, cars filled with dangerous monsters society has labelled teenagers.

Fear not. Their indifference to your existence is actually a sign of acceptance!

Panhandlers that smell of desperation and booze claw at you, mistaking the mints shaking in your pocket for spare change.

How can one possibly win a war in a world like this?

You can't win, or even fight, if you aren't in the trenches.

So lace up those boots, soldier. The war is won one battle a time, one tree hacked down before the next. Attack the blank page with unfettered, uncensored ferocity. Get all up in there. Feel it's greasy innards, and EXPOSE THEM DRIPPING TATTERS TO THE LIGHT!

As writers, we are dealers, and our trade is entertainment. We run a dispensary of thought and emotion. We peddle experience and insight through little black and white pills known in the trade as words.

If you've seen Scarface (and maybe even if you haven't) you're probably familiar with the saying, "You never get high on your own supply."

In the realm of writing craft, I hear this and I immediately climb into the highest room of the tallest tower, grab the damsel in distress and promptly defenestrate her, decrying, "BULLSHIT!"

***Disclaimer: this is entirely metaphorical. I do not advocate defenestration under most circumstances.***

Part of why we write is because we are chasing the magic dragon. The mythical beast farts hypnotic fumes of sparkling wonder, and we take Gandalf's advice: "Follow your nose!"

Just don't build an ivory tower of self-indulgence. No one can share the magic if you don't pass the dragonhole round the circle every once in a while.

It's not a bad thing to enjoy your work. It is YOUR CREATION, after all. It should be hugely motivating to you to stumble upon a great line you've written, to fall in love with a character that lives only in the empty space between your large, droopy earlobes. To be excited about the twist you've executed in your climax that you know will blow the balls (or nipples) off the reader.

I contend that you should chase those magic moments in your writing. Cherish them. Feed your writing addiction, and water those words until they grow into a giant beanstalk that takes you into Noveltown.

Write for yourself.

Edit for everyone else.

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