Am I a Writing Junkie?

  Ahhhh. I’m writing again. I know it’s only a blog post, but I haven’t written anything but a quick email in the last week. My ex-wife injured herself in a freak dog walking accident (I know, right?), so I’ve been spending nights over at her place to help her and the boys, days at my new job, and in between running errands. Right now, my ex is in the hospital recovering from surgery. I actually have a few minutes to myself, so here I am at the keyboard.
   It feels good. It’s nice to watch the words crawl across the page, bringing coherence to the random and often uncontrollable thoughts rattling around in my brain. The light touch of my fingers on the keys is soothing, not like the harsh banging I tend to do when I’m entering data into the computer at work. I’ve missed this. In fact, I’ve come to need it. Without out it I find myself nervous and anxious, irritable and testy with my friends and loved ones. I’ve become a writing junkie.
   How did it happen? I’ve written off-and-on most of my life without experiencing these withdrawal symptoms. But a few years ago, when I started the Red Wolf Novels project, I began writing at least a couple of hours almost every day. I developed a tolerance. I needed more writing - more often. I had to visit with my characters, see what they were up to, what they would do next. I started to neglect my other responsibilities and other relationships. I told myself they weren’t as important as my characters. The story had to be written. It wouldn’t let me go.
   When I published the first novel, I made new friends, readers who liked the book and wanted to know more about the story of the Red Wolf. I had new responsibilities, readers and reviewers to correspond with, books to read and review myself, a blog to keep up, more writing to do. My old friends and family, my old dreams, all fell by the wayside. Writing became my raison d’être. Nothing else mattered.
   I carried my laptop with me wherever I went. I began to frequent coffee shops, where I could find an isolated corner to sip and write for hours on end. Sleeping and eating (okay – maybe I’m going a little far with that one) became inconveniences. As my other interests fell by the wayside, I went through the motions in the real world. I was only truly alive when I was writing.
   Then, a few weeks ago, my life became truly unmanageable. My laptop started shutting down on me at random times. I started a full-time day job, leaving me less time at the coffee shops. I got frustrated and irritable. I began losing sleep. Finally, my son called me last week with, “They took Mama away in an ambulance. Can you come stay with me?” I almost said no. There was no way I could stay at my ex-wife’s house and write. It would be the end of me.
   But it was my son.
   I guess there was a spark of humanity left in me after all. I rose to the occasion. I put the writing aside. I resolved to do whatever it took. I haven’t written for over a week… until now.
   Has this crisis been a wake-up call? Has it taken a freak accident and a pitiful plea from my little boy to save me from my addiction?
   Naaaaah. I’m okay. I just needed a little break. I’m back now. The beta readers will soon send in their results and Ray and Rich will soon have the covers for The Dragon of Doughton Park ready. And the outline for the third Red Wolf novel, Red Wolf Rising, is nearly fleshed out. I’m not yet ready to quit.

   If you want to take the plunge and join me in my addiction, check out one of the links below.

  Until next time... Happy Reading!


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