Great Writers: Recovering Word Addicts

Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something. (Plato)

This confirms it….I’m a fool.

Actually…I’m a foolish word addict.

Hello, my name is Meagan and I am a pathological writer.

I sometimes write because I have something to say, but very often I write because I HAVE to say something.

I can tell when the words have made a pile in my head. My mind slows, I can hardly get it to stop running the same phrase over and over, and until I write it down, it becomes a roadblock to functional living.

My husband asked me once, “How many words do you think you write in a day?”

I honestly have no idea. I write comments on articles, blogposts, drafts of ideas for my next book, facebook posts, presentation material, emails, ghostwriting projects, notes. (I just decided…right now… I am going to start to use a wordometer to track my daily word-count.)

I am starting to think I might be addicted…I exhibit most of the signs (according to about.com):

Extreme mood changes – happy, sad, excited, anxious, etc 

Ask my family about how my mood follows a writing day…

Sleeping a lot more or less than usual, or at different times of day or night

Inspiration strikes when it wants to…and I’ll be up at wee hours and napping in late afternoon

Changes in energy – unexpectedly and extremely tired or energetic

Wordless= Tired         Got the flow on= Full of Energy

Seeming unwell at certain times, and better at other times

I am unwell when writing is blocked and better when words come easily.

Pupils of the eyes seeming smaller or larger than usual

Apparently the hours spent at a computer screen are not conducive to normal pupils.

Secretiveness

Kids ask, “Mom, why are you in the closet with the door locked?” The answer that I rarely verbalize is, “So these words and I can hang out all by ourselves!”

Lying

Husband asks, “what are you doing in there?” “nothing…just checking some emails.”

Stealing

I shamefully admit I steal words and ideas from people all the time.

Financially unpredictable, perhaps having large amounts of cash at times but no money at all at other times.

Yikes! Now I’m really worried…this perfectly describes my finances since taking on writing as a full-time gig.

Changes in social groups, new and unusual friends, odd cell-phone conversations.

Have you ever heard a group of writers talk about things?

Repeated unexplained outings, often with a sense of urgency

There are times I simply run out of my house with my laptop in hand. I cannot think past the noise of our children, my husband, and our dog, and I don’t take time to explain to them that if I don’t find the space to write the words out…I’ll tragically lose them altogether.

So, the first step to recovery is acceptance, right? I’m pleased to be moving out of denial, but I am unsure whether I will ever be able to abandon this addiction entirely. I think at this point I want to become a much more sophisticated addict.

I want to harness the compulsion and wisely consume, dispense, and manipulate those words so that I am no longer just saying things to say them, but rather controlling myself so that I use words only to say something that needs to be said.

It might be possible to adopt the identity of a “social writer” but in case I can’t…please make sure when you commmit me…they let me take my laptop too!

Copyright 2012     Meagan Frank              www.meaganfrank.com                            Choosing to Grow

 

6 thoughts on “Great Writers: Recovering Word Addicts

  1. This one had me chuckling. Probably because so much of it is true!

    And hey, good for you for moving toward your dreams and taking on writing full-time. I find that one of the most daring things a person could do. Bravo!

    • Thanks Sarah…I was astounded at how many attributes of an addict writers have 🙂 Thank you for considering a leap to “writer” brave…it certainly is one of the scarier things I’ve done. MMF

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