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Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Obsession of Writing

My experience is that if you don’t write a blog, stories, novels, plays,  you’re somewhat dazed by the people who do. “You wrote a novel!” people say to me as though I grew an elephant’s truck.  They also ask, "What's your blog about?" to which I answer, "Um, er."  I'm definitely batter on paper than I am off-the-cuff.  "You write!"  It's the only time people's reaction to me approaches awe.
Yes, I write. I try to post on this blog twice a week: discipline is good for the character (isn’t it?). I wrote a novel (oh, and if you haven’t bought it, you should – at http://amzn.to/hUuFdS . It’s a fast, fun read and is only $2.99; I’m not above shameless self-promotion). I’m working on its sequel. (In my head, I’ve come to calling it Son of Jaguar Sees which is ridiculous, but then it just joins all the other ridiculous things in my head.) This week I kind of over-extended myself because I’ve been working on an“assignment” to write the story for, research and craft the menu for the Russian dinner that will be one of a gourmet group’s Dinners in History year. And if you haven’t read this Blog before, let me add that I do not love cooking. Or research. (But I do love my friend, so that’s okay.) And I’m so happy to have been asked to do the A to a Q & A about my writing and  Jaguar Sees: the Lacquer Box for another Blog, Pagans, Saints and Potatoes ( http://www.sheilarlamb.com/ ). So, yes, I write.
Then there's the house to clean, the grocery store that desperately needed to be visited (after departure of the Perfect Grandchildren, these things were more needed than usual), dance classes that desperately need to be attended after three weeks of vacation and vacation-eating, and the taking of my friend to Tyson’s Corner. Hey, she hadn’t been to the American Girl Doll store (have to drop all cynicism – it was wonderful), and while we were there, we had to try out the sushi conveyor belt restaurant. Then, Deathly Hallows comes out today, so, well, there’s another couple of hours shot.
But somehow, somewhere I find the time to keep blurfing my ideas down on, well, obviously not on paper. And someone reads them! So maybe it’s only my sister, but still . . . .  Not only do I write regularly, but it’s like hunger at meal times: come 1:00 every day, I find my attention wandering form the task at hand. Invisible beams pull me to my desk. Come 1:00, I begin to write, in my head or at my computer.

And why? Why sweat over word choice, fixate on topics and plot out story lines. Why become preoccupied about when I can sit here and tap, tap, tap on the keyboard? Writing isn’t, for me at least, the blossoming of some sizable talent. No, it is nothing less than a (albeit minor) obsession. I write because if I don’t write, my brain will explode. And, believe me, nobody wants to see that.

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