Monday, July 6, 2009

Writing, An Obsession?

Summer is a time when family and friends come to visit, picnics and parties seem like fine ideas, and vacations are scheduled, right? For me, though, summer is also a time when I quietly wonder if my writing is my obsession. According to my trusty dictionary, an obsession is “the domination of one's thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc.” Exactly. As much as I love guests, parties, and vacationing (really, I do!), I get a bit nutty about giving up any of my writing, revising, or reading time. I do, of course, but that doesn’t mean that ideas stop barging into my head, whining for attention. It doesn’t matter if I’m in the middle of a lovely catch-up conversation, making potato salad, or enjoying some beach time, a novel thought is going to scream LOUD and interrupt. And it’s hard for me to not pay attention.

In addition, my brain won’t stop fast-forwarding to when I can snatch a few minutes here and there to jot down notes or develop one of the ideas that yelled at me. I start wondering if I could develop a character during a bathroom break or revise a scene while simultaneously husking cobs of corn. Would anyone notice if I went out to get the mail and brought my laptop with me? My fingers crave the feel of pecking at a keyboard. My eyes long to watch words appear, change and shift on a computer screen. If I go too long without putting together sentences on a page, I get jumpy, cranky, and even sad. My skin begins to itch and I’m sure that a rash will follow. I find myself lusting after the laptops of strangers and I openly envy people sharing quiet time with their computers in cafes.

Eventually, though, guests get dropped off at airports, our car pulls back into our driveway after a fabulous escape, and clean up duty after a successful backyard party is finished. Then, I bask in my obsession. Because I’m the only one not in complete let down mode because all the fun and nonsense is a memory. While others grumble about going back to jobs and workday routines, I swallow back goofy grins and do my best not to count the seconds until I can bond with my laptop again. Perhaps I should look up words like leisure and balance and mental health in my trusty dictionary.


  1. Too funny! And, I so relate :) I love that Staples commercial for back to school time when the mother is filling the cart with school supplies and the Christmas song is playing, "It's the most wonderful time of the year..."

    I have to keep reminding myself to give the kiddos more attention during these summer months and put the darn book down - lol!

  2. I love that Staples commercial, too! The expressions on the faces of the happy mom's kids are great. I guess we could all use a bit more time in our lives. : )