Writing as Addiction

20 Apr

There is no doubt writing and authors possess a love-hate relationship. The love side can manifest in many ways. Satisfaction from creating something from nothing, release from voices that haunt a writer’s brain, heightened passion from going places emotionally one rarely dares to visit in life or many other aspects of writing that leave us feeling fulfilled.

The hate part tends to enter the equation on the more analytical side of writing – the fact of writing being a business, deadlines, frustrations at how the writing manifests itself, forcing yourself to ignore basic day-to-day chores or tasks that can make you look foolish in other people’s eyes and any number of stumbling blocks to making the writing happen in a manner you feel appropriate.

For those of us who stick with our dreams and passions, writing takes on characteristics of addiction. Once we hit a groove we feel invincible. We feel there is nothing to stop us from reaching untold heights and there is no downside. When we struggle to just get our blank page up on the screen or out of a notebook, we become the junkie craving a fix – especially if life has intruded and prevented us from scribbling or dibbling (my word for computerized scribbling – I know, this is an actual word already having to do with gardening, but when has that ever stopped the English language from promoting a new meaning – see the word ‘run’).

Every writer who sincerely pursues the craft must write. Consistency is preached but often neglected in a world where structure and analytics often squash or destroy creativity. Writers can be flighty and irresponsible, but they also create all the entertainment our species ingests on a daily basis. The appetite of consumers out-paces the ability of writers to produce. This is why you see so many reruns and rehashed plots.

The dedicated writer must write whether destitute or wealthy. Every writer struggles with similar bugaboos like time, block (always self-inflicted), muse, etc. Non-writers on one hand do not understand what writers call work and on the other they have no clue how writers create the pieces put out. Writers know when they are in the midst of their muse, no drug, no pleasure, no outside source of enjoyment can fulfill them like the passion of creation at their fingertips.

A writer’s fix becomes simple, not easy. Simply write that ‘true sentence’ as Hemingway put it. Create the story, novel, article, poem, etc. that moves the reader to another place of enlightenment whether it be emotional, intellectual or any other manner of insight. Writers desire to create words of power as much as readers desire to consume them. While we war against ourselves about what we sacrifice for our fix, just like any other addiction, we go back for more whenever we can. When we do, we hallucinate, we dream, we soar, we cry, we laugh, we crash, we die and we live.

Our hope is that our readers do all those things as well.


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