Hi! How are you? I’m doing great. I’ve been so busy I hadn’t realized that my last update was in 2011! It’s time for a new one. And today I have something on my mind.
I’ve heard it said (by a well-meaning individual) that “real writers” write because they have to. It is a need so deeply ingrained that it requires release in some form. A “real writer” has to write every day or they explode. I smiled at this dramatic comparison of creativity as an addiction which requires a daily fix and did not comment. I am sure there are writers and artists out there for whom this is 100% true. I envy them. I would love nothing better than to write every day. The reality of my life and my writing process just doesn’t mesh with it.
My writing sessions go something like this: I sit down at my computer and stare at the blank page for a couple of hours. I open a browser and search for images (visualizations inspire me). I open an already written story and go over it, picking nits. I close the blank page and go do something else for a while. If the miraculous happens and I actually start on an idea that flows, I keep at it as long as I can (until my eyes go gritty and start to close on their own, or something interrupts me – the latter is usually the case). Inevitably, however, the flow hits a brick wall and I get blocked. I take this as a sign that my mind needs time to catch up.
I do get desperate for something creative to do. Which is why I currently have at least 10 stories in some stage of writing, a vague sewing project which I can’t even decide on, and why I have spent the last two nights creating/recreating/editing/scrapping cover pages. The Beast may be getting a make over. It’ll be subtle, but should end up looking less cartoony.
Last year I had such long dry spells I honestly thought I would go insane. This year it seems like my muse wants to make up for it in any way, shape, or form it possibly can. It’s wonderful. I am rarely without something to do or create. Does it leave me tired? Due to lack of sleep, yes. But the joy of being able to look at something that a few days/hours/minutes ago was nothing definitely makes up for it.
My mind needs something to do. If it has nothing, it wanders, and I end up looking like a crazy person, laughing at internal dialogues between people I made up, who might as well be real, sitting on the bus next to me. Not that I mind. It tends to clear space quite handily.
So. Is creativity an addiction? Not to me. To me it is a state of mind, a mental disorder – the good side of OCD and ADD combined, with a little multiple personality tossed in the mix. Doesn’t that sound just delightful? Who wouldn’t want to be a writer!