Writing is a Funny Thing

Writing is addictive. Seductive even. It drives you mad and makes you hate it. It caresses you with the most beautiful words and makes you do almost anything to have it, to take part in it. It seduces you and wants to capture you forever, caressing you with words and ideas and images and powers and people you can only dream of. Oh, hang on, that’s right. You are dreaming it, i.e. making it up.

Still, it is absorbing, consuming, real. It is ambivalent in how it treats you, taking over your life, tossing you around. Tossing you away. Reeling you back in, usually without resistance. Then, it bounces you over the rough waves, rolls you up and dumps you in the wet sand. Sometimes, scraping you over rocks on the way in and, if it’s going to be any good, stripping you bare in the process.

At night you lie awake, the best ideas, the best openings, the richest sentences rolling off your sleepy tongue. You get up and grab pen and paper and … nothing. It, writing, has toyed with you again. The creative juices are lying there, snoring its head off in your warm bed.

But, you’re awake now. Your mind is buzzing with worker bees that haven’t quite found their way home from the bounty and are searching hard. If only they would search together. Unified. Deliberate. They just drone, filling your head with noise and aggravation. And they drown out the mosquitoes that take full advantage of the fact that you are no longer hiding under the covers.

Around five a.m., the cohesion begins, the words start to coalesce and a picture forms. That’s when you yawn, oxygenating your ideas. Again, pen to paper, but there’s only a blur. It is time to lie down, let the mind focus, bring back the abundance. Then the alarm goes off, high pitched and feverish. Time to shower and get ready for work.

But, even if you could, you’d never give it up.

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