Addicted to Writing?

writing2I once worked  in a psych and chemical dependency treatment center. The first thing I learned was the definition of addiction and how we can be addicted to anything. There was checklist to measure the depth of the addiction

For instance – has it interfered with personal relationships? Has it affected your finances such as lost jobs, or impulse buying, or missing payments? Have you had problems with the law? Is your health affected by it? Your spirituality? Has it affected your lifestyle? Or have you been displaced such as a loss of residency? Do you have problems concentrating or are you obsessing about attaining your next encounter with it?

The other day I went looking for a box of my high school writings. I had read a blog by Ionia Martin where she asked if we thought our first writing was any good. I was curious about mine. I found several boxes filled with notes written on every conceivable form of paper. Post-it notes, napkins, scraps of wallpaper, receipts, postcards, envelopes, kid’s school projects, even toilet paper. I promise it was clean!

Suddenly I thought about that checklist. Had my writing interfered with personal relationships? Well, my husband had complained on more than one occasion about my vacant stares and his repeated questions that fell on my deaf ears. The kids got to know that look and knew not bother me when I was scribbling frantically. Impulse buying of notebooks, notepads and bushels of pens and pencils did affect the finances I guess. I can’t look at an empty piece of paper without the urgent desire to write something on that white expanse.

I suppose the electric company may have wondered about me when I asked for the bill back that I had sent in with the check because I had written a line of poetry on it. Then there were those occasional speeding tickets on trips. This is when I get most of my books written in  my head. I love a long drive so I can busily construct. Unfortunately I’m not always paying attention to speed limit signs when I’m doing this.

Of course there is the eye-strain from copious amounts of reading and bright computer screens. I stay up late into the night researching and writing so there has been many a Sunday I’ve been to tired to get up and go to church. Concentration on daily chores is interrupted by my mad dashes to the nearest piece of paper to capture an idea. Let’s not forget about obsessing over getting that opening chapter just right or the editing rewrite done.

So, I don’t know. Do you think I may have a writing addiction?

16 thoughts on “Addicted to Writing?

  1. One of the best addictions you can suffer from. Thanks for sharing this post!

    I have a new writing blog that I created after self-publishing my first novel on Kindle. Please check it out and share your writing experiences with me!
    http://gdalexander.wordpress.com/
    -G.D.

  2. If you have an addiction then I think I’ll need to join you in rehab. Don’t do the car thing, but I’ve rushed back into restaurants because I forgot a napkin with book notes. Walked into a few walls while writing in a notepad too.

    • Yes! Rehab should be fun! Lots of coffee, peace and quiet. LOL Though I hesitated using the word ‘addiction’ because it truly is a serious condition and not to be made light of. In our society workaholics are praised, while a drug addict is not. It depends on the addiction I guess. But I’m happy to meet others with the same problem. Yes, I can relate to going back for napkin notes, but never encountered a wall yet. You are truly dedicated to do that! LOL

      • The workaholic thing gets me riled up at times. A person who sacrifices everything for work strikes me as needing as much help as an alcoholic.

        The wall was mostly in college. I was always in a hurry to get to class and finish my writing on the way. One building had a strange shape, so the wall always got me.

      • I totally agree with you. It has always irritated me as well, that we encourage a behavior that leaves just as much havoc in it’s wake as drug induced behavior. In many ways it’s even more insidious. But this is an imperfect world at best. There are many behaviors out there that are borderline in my opinion.

        I’m glad running into walls is not a constant behavior for you. LOL

      • Glad I grew out of that stage too. 😀

        There are plenty of borderline behaviors. They can probably be handled to if the person finds a way to balance their life. A workaholic can improve if they take some real time to spend with family. It might tough, but even a day without thinking about work can do wonders.

  3. Robyn – I read your post last night and for whatever reason I overlooked the comment tab. Being familiar with what goes on within an addiction treatment center, you are spot on with your analysis of addition and writing. However, the spots of humor are a welcome relief to the agonies of other addictions. I applaud you for this wonderful piece of writing.

    • Thank you Sheri! I’m so glad you understood that I wasn’t making fun of addiction. It is an agony to deal with one. I really just wanted to get the yardstick of measurement out there. It is good to do introspection at times, just to make sure we haven’t let ourselves slide into a behavior that is detrimental. Thanks for reading!

  4. LOL! You and I have a lot in common!

    • Yes, we do! I especially liked your post on the San Francisco Peaks. I lived in Flagstaff for five years. I thought it was a amateur photographers dreamscape. You captured the feel of the area well in your photographs. Good eye! I also loved your post on movies. I recently retired from owning two historical movie theatres in Wyoming. Yes, we have a lot in common! Thank you for stopping by.

      • Sweet! I always wanted to own a movie theatre….Remember the film ‘The Majestic’ with Jim Carrey? Then I read you are gratefully retired, so I wonder if it’s one of those things that sounds good in theory, but is enslaving in reality? I used to own a catering business and felt that way….

      • I loved the “Majestic”! It was fairly realistic. The Grand Theatre in Lander is a registered historical building and is truly a grand lady. I love the business, but the public changed in the last thirty years and the youngster’s are destructive and disrespectful. The parents aren’t much better. It became a chore and no longer fun. But I still love going to the movies! Even after all these years I love the smell of popcorn. Bet you are a great cook. A catering business sounds even more exhausting!

      • It Twas. Now I’m a teacher and I love it. Ten years and I can retire. So glad you stopped by!

  5. We all have a writing addiction. I happen to be addicted to your writing as well.

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