Tag Archives: heroin

Heroine or Heroin? Addicted to Writing a Novel

2 Feb

a. I’m manic in this photo. b. My laptop is in my bag because I have to keep it near me at all times even if I risk falling into the ocean with it. Don’t touch me! Step away from my bag! I’ll hit you in the head with a conch!

Writing a novel is like trying heroin: There’s no good reason to do it, but you’re still intrigued by the idea of it. Curiosity and bad judgment win over rational thinking, and you decide “What the heck? It can’t hurt to try it.” Once you start, you’re totally hooked. Everything else in your life falls by the wayside: the dishes, the dog, trimming your toenails, your other creative endeavors. Your compulsion affects your relationship. Your characters begin to control your thoughts, and your reality crumbles. The process wrecks you. Still, you can’t stop. You write. And no matter how many words you write (20,000 in two weeks!), it never, ever feels like enough.

The novel is why I have not been blogging, cartooning, or writing about anything other than the life of a fictitious adolescent girl. Writing about a teenager is like having a teenager move into my brain: Sometimes she never shuts the fuck up; other times she’s brooding in her room and I can’t get her to come out. Like last year, I spent January 2013 camping in Florida with my wife, and I wrote an average of 1000 words a day while I was away. Which was amazing. And not enough to satiate my main character’s addiction to herself, and my addiction to making her real. She is my Velveteen Rabbit. My heroine. My heroin.

I vacillated between obsessive and depressive while I was in Florida, finding respite only in my hourly daily piña coladas. Now that I’m home and back at work and cleaning the bathroom and shoveling snow, all I can think is, “When will I get my next fix?”

alligator imitation

This is my alligator imitation. I’ve obviously lost my mind.

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