Thursday, March 18, 2010

Writing as an Addiction

Hi. My name is WellesFan and I’m an addict.

HI, WELLESFAN!

This year I’ve completed 8 stories, started 2 others, and written in the neighborhood of 15-20K words. Not much, but it’s a lot higher than my 2009 output. In this post (my 200th, btw), I’d like to thank the Friday Flash Fiction crew and Cormac Brown – who invited me to join – for starting me on the slow road to recovery.

Writing is an addiction. Like any addiction it can be rough and painful, but it can also lead to great highs. Writers often talk about the “need” to write. Very few of us enjoy the actual process. I think Gloria Steinem said it best “I do not like to write - I like to have written.”

That is where the high exists. In having crafted the perfect sentence. In having found the right word to use at the right time. In producing a tale that evokes an emotional response from our reader.

A bad story is like a bad trip. Something so awful that you question why you do it. But a good story is like the perfect high. You keep writing again and again so you can get that feeling back.

To get better, an addict must wake up every day and say “I will NOT do XXX.” To get better, a writer must wake up every day and say “I will write.”

The reason each writer writes is as different as the reason each junkie has to get high. Your reason could be to perform a kind of self therapy or to become a better writer or to finish that damn novel. Whatever your reason is, the only way to get better is to take each day as a new beginning.

To paraphrase Paul McCartney: I’d like to think I’m getting better / Getting better all the time.

4 comments:

Paul D. Brazill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul D. Brazill said...

Keep on Keeping on!

David Barber said...

Very true Welles. I have a notepad with me all the time. Some days are better than others for writing, but if we can write something everyday then I think we're on the right track. Keep it up mate.

Regards, David.

Cormac Brown said...

BTW, you just called me an "enabler."