Alan Watts’s Best Piece of Advice

He said many inspiring things — this might just be his most important

Andy Murphy
2 min readJun 11, 2024
Photo by pawel szvmanski on Unsplash

Sometimes I read something so refreshing it makes me smile.

Like this from Hunter S. Thompson:

“Writing is the flip side to sex, it’s only good when it’s over.”

And this from Charles Bukowski:

“Basically, that’s why I wrote: to save my ass, to save my ass from the madhouse, from the streets, from myself.”

Alan Watts also had a thing or two to say about writing – the author of more than 25 books – and it’s some of his best advice:

“Advice? I don’t have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there’s no chance for a pardon. Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, like you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves. Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we’re not alone. Write like you have a message from the king. Or don’t. Who knows, maybe you’re one of the lucky