It occurred to me today that I am a writaholic, addicted to writing. Most people who are privy to my sporadic writing habits might raise their eyebrows at this idea. In fact, my own eyebrows rise at the very thought. But nonetheless I think it might be true.
My writaholic-ness is definitely not a workaholic-type obsession. I don’t write for long hours, neglecting both children and house work. Nor do I ever write into the wee hours of the night, leaning over my computer under the forlorn light of a solitary lamp. I rarely rush to my notebook in the middle of the night with a burning desire to write down an idea, though that did happen to me once fifteen years ago when I thought up a limerick dedication to my honor thesis advisor.
And yet I insist that I am a writaholic. The reason is this: when I write I am happy, content and relaxed. I feel confident and hopeful about the future. In contrast, when I don’t write I slowly become depressed, unhappy, and stressed.
Usually I feel that I need to be in the groove in order to write. If I feel depressed or my mind is busy then I can’t write. And yet, lately it has become clear to me that I need to write.
Take this weekend, for example. On Friday we celebrated my mother’s 70th birthday, and many members of my family came to spend the weekend with us. I appointed myself master of ceremonies. My sister and I cooked thanksgiving dinner for 20 people. My boyfriend organized a bus, and we took the whole group plus five to Point Lobos for a hike, then to Carmel for dinner. On Saturday we watched a movie about my mother that I had prepared with a friend’s talented son. We had brunch and ended the day with dinner and an opera. On Sunday we closed the ceremonies with a family zumba class and more food.
This full weekend left little time for writing. On Sunday, however, when we returned home the kids went to watch some television, and my boyfriend fell asleep on the sofa. More than anything else I wanted to write, but I felt too tired and not in the groove. Instead I idled by the ipad, played word games and filled out crossword puzzles in Hebrew. I slowly grew more tired and restless.
I think I would have been better able to relax and enjoy the festivities this weekend if I had used what free time I had for writing. This morning I woke up still tired, but now, with the keyboard under my fingers, my words springing on the screen and bringing my thoughts to life, I feel whole again. I hope that in the future, instead of waiting for the right mood to come, I will remember that I can rest in the writing. I will allow myself to “write” myself into the groove and become happy by doing what I love and do best. Which is exactly this.