I’ve been writing daily, non-stop, since January of this year. My word tracker tells me I’ve logged in over 2,000,000 words. I don’t know if that’s a lot, average for a writer, or below the norm. I do know that writing makes me happy, whether it’s my blog, my wip,or a short story I’m working on. I once heard Nora Roberts liken writing to exercising. She said, if you don’t do it for a few days, like a muscle, it begins to atrophy. The “it” is the writing or the work of writing. And I agree.
I decided to take a little break this month after I came back from RWA in NYC in July. I have a life outside of writing – I know, who’d have thought? – and I have several art, craft, and culinary projects that are time consuming I wanted to get started and done. The first weekend in the month I ripped apart every closet in my house, culled, restructured, tossed, donated and generally made all my closets look like new again. It took me three days, 8 hours a day. By day three I had great closets and writing withdrawal. While I’d been culling,etc, several ideas had shot into my head and I needed to write them down, but I’d vowed to have a stay-cation from writing so…
Yeah. If you’re a writer you know where this is going.
Day 4 broke and I wanted to start on a new, large decoupage trunk project I was going to do for a friend’s birthday present. Since her b’day is in September and this was August, I needed to get a move on. 2 hours into the project my hands started shaking because my writing-dormant brain had just solved a plot point problem I’d been having with my WIP. What to do? My non-writing vow slapped me hard in the face and…I slapped back. Yup. I broke my vow. For the next six hours I was able to rewrite a scene that had been driving me nutso for weeks. And it came out pretty damn good if I do say so. And right after that I wrote down all those ideas I’d come up with during closet cleaning. In fact, I sat at my laptop for a total of 10 hours that day -with one or two needed bathroom breaks – and got everything down that had been begging to be let out from my brain. The writing withdrawal symptoms ground me down. Like a meth addict, I was unable to control my “need” but in my case it was a need to write, not do drugs. Just clarifying, folks.
Today is August 16. My word tracker tells me I have written 57,000 words during the past 10 days. That’s 5 blogs, and the rest split up between several WIP’s currently in production. I’ll have to include the 500 or so from this blog as well. Like moths drawn to flames, mosquitos pulled to bug zappers, use whatever metaphor or alliteration you want, I HAD to write. No, I HAVE to write. It is, in its purest definition, who and what I am.
There’s a reason this website is called WRITING IS MY OXYGEN. You can’t life without breathing…and I can’t live without writing.