It’s been six days since I last held my keyboard. When I booted up my computer this morning and began typing, my fingers flew across the keys. Miraculously tapping letters in the correct order to form coherent sentences and fluid passages. I was happy to learn that fingers never forget.
The physcial act of writing appears to be almost as soothing as the cerebral aspect of it. Over the long weekend, I missed it.
I wonder if writing is an addiction. Physcially, emotionally and psychologically. I think it may be. I have heard of many writers who dabble in the craft, only to give it up for Real Life. I definitely have. And yet I keep coming back to it in much the same way an alcholic returns to the bottle.
The drive become stronger with each dabble and the frequency between bouts shortens. I come back to writing with renewed vigor and intensity, while the thought of not writing makes me want to throw up–literally. My stomach hurts at the thought of not being able to write anymore.
The pathway from my brain, and the incessant chattering of characters therein, to my fingertips has been forged. I was fine during the long, snowed in weekend as long as I didn’t think about it. I deliberately left my laptop at home so as not to be tempted during the midst of the Christmas celebration. Out of sight, out of mind.
Like an alcoholic, I steered clear of the bar and it worked.
Until this morning when I woke up. I had planned on getting up and working out with DH. However, as soon as he left the warmth of our bed, my laptop called to me. I was alone. I had no responsibilities at 5:30 am. And my computer was in my bag next to the night stand. The temptation was more than I could handle.
I booted up my laptop intending to finish my edit on my chapter book. Yet my fingers instinctively hit the internet button. I chastised myself as I waited for my homepage to load. I knew that if I let this insanity continue, I would not get to my editing before the day demanded my attention elsewhere.
I checked my emails and told myself to ex out. Self said, “I can’t leave my fellow scribes waiting.” After all, it had been six days since I last posted.
So here I am. Commenting. Checking out Cassandra’s blog and posting on my own. I’m thirsty for more. It’s that first tiny sip as I perch precariously on the edge of the wagon. I feel myself tipping over the edge. I see the road on which I will land and yet I can’t stop myself. When I am finished here, I will open my file and lose myself in the beauty of the written word.
It may be hours before I come to my senses and realize I have lost half a day. Like all addicts, I will feel guilt. Guilty enough to motivate me to finish the afternoon responsibly. Guilty enough to ignore my manuscript tonight. Guilty enough to understand the raw craving and the consequences of giving in to the urge to work on my NaNo novel.
Yet not strong enough to put my writing away for any length of time because I am an addict and fingers never forget.
Over the years, I have reprioritized things in my life to accomodate my addiction. I have learned to let my house go just enough that it is still clean, but not perfect. I haven’t turned the television on in years for myself to enjoy. I have cut back on my reading and have given up my more mild hobbies of scrapbooking and card making. I have sacrificed some pleasure to feed my addiction. Thankfully I had the luxury to do so without significantly impacting my family.
How about you? Do you find writing to be a mere hobby or a driving addiction? How have you reprioritized to accomodate your desire to write? Do you feel any sort of guilt connected to the time you spend at your keyboard? If you’re a non-writer, what activity in your life could be considered an addiction?
I have always thought there should be a support group for writers. Then again, maybe there is and it’s called networking…