Writing is a drug.
Why does writing make me feel good?
I don’t have an answer to this question.
I know very little about writing. The more I write, the more I know this to be true.
Writing doesn’t make me feel good because I’m good at it. Writing hasn’t brought me fame or fortune. So what is it?
One truth I’ve found is that the older I get, the more I depend on writing to feel whole. If I don’t write, I don’t feel well.
For a while, I tried to ignore this correlation.
Mentally, I get cranky and short tempered. It’s like being without coffee in the morning for a caffeine addict.
If I don’t write for extended periods of time, this is followed by a general depression. When I feel like this, I don’t feel like writing, even though writing is the only thing that will bring me out of these dark feelings of hopelessness and despair.
Physically, I get sick too. My immune system becomes compromised. I used to think that when I get sick, I don’t write, but now I realize, most of the time, it’s the other way around.
Even a little bit of writing can stave off these negative effects.
In contrast, if I write, I get a mellow high. I feel at peace. How I see myself and my actual self are in agreement. When I’m not writing, I’m not a writer. But when I’m writing, everything is right with the world.
Not all stages of writing are like this. Copy editing can be tedious, and not knowing what could make something better can be frustrating. Every so often I can be attacked by self-doubt, but mostly writing is a mellow bliss, creativity pouring onto a page, punctuated with thrilling realizations and moments of synchronicity.
It’s almost always a challenge, often a challenge beyond my capabilities, but while I’m doing it, while I’m playing with words and imaginary people, I never feel like I should be doing something else.
Writing is a drug. It may be some kind of sickness. I’m a writer, and there is no way for me to stop, not if I want to stay sane and healthy.
My new book is Brief Pose. You can read a sample HERE.