I’m just someone that writes, there is a difference I think. Writing has always come easy to me, I’ve never struggled to find words or ideas. In elementary, high school and college, I’ve never struggled to write whatsoever, math on the other hand, ugh. I also happen to have hypegraphia, which according to Psychology Today is “the all-consuming desire to write.” Which also includes the need to read, re-read, edit and edit again everything one has written. It’s also linked to mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bi-polar disorders, but more on the side of eplilepsy (thanks to all the fates out there, ya bitches).
But my therapist, who is a psychiatrist tested me when she diagnosed my hypegraphia, which I didn’t know I had, I just thought I like to write, a lot. She said my tendency is purely to write on a creative basis, an outlet of emotional turmoil. I don’t normally tell people or reveal this about myself, it’s just not something one talks about during your team building exercises at work. I work with physician’s, a lot of them psychiatrists, so I keep this to myself for the most part. Hypegraphia tends to be triggered by emotional or tragic events as well, I have so many emotionally charged events that have happened in my life, it would be hard to pinpoint when and where this all started.
Luckily my job provides a temporary relief from this, I have to write a lot in order to communicate with faculty, sponsors and of course coworkers. I also have to write constantly for the faculty to correct their horrendous writing, which most of the times needs to be written from scratch and re-write a lot of their proposals from the information they give me.
I’m not a medical doctor by any means, and as for physician’s a lot of them aren’t great writers either as far as I can tell. A lot of them don’t know how to write and many times use the wrong words which sound alike, in the wrong context. For example pear and pair, I mean come on, wtf? Or stair and stare, I know the difference how in the hell don’t these people, they went to medical school for god sake!
Either way, writing for work does help alleviate this incessant need to write, just one of the reasons I began a blog at the urging of Terri my therapist. I have so many journals, composition and spiral notebooks of different ideas about a book I want to eventually write. But I don’t consider myself a writer, and here is why. A writer, a real writer would know what to write and continuously develop that idea until its exactly where they want it.
I have different ideas and have begun so many “novels” then another idea comes into my head and I start another set of notes and thus I’ve been leaving behind story after story because of my writer’s ADD. No, I don’t actually have ADD but this is the only explanation I have to justify why I can’t finish any of the stories I’ve begun.
Except for one, the main reason I began my blog, the story of Lestat the Emotional Vampire. That story I wrote from beginning to end. I spent twenty years of my life with him and everything I wrote that happened in my blog posts, really did happen. Although I left out a lot of content because I didn’t think my followers would want to know that much about the fact that I was in a relationship with a married man for almost half my life. That is why I think it was so easy to write about my experiences with him, because it was “my” story. And now I’ve been encouraged by several friends, both blogger and longtime friends, to follow through and expand, develop and finish this one particular story. But I’m not sure how to do this, ideas come and go, but I suppose I need to finally set my mind and develop the damned thing to finally have some closure and leave this story on the pages instead of in the back of my mind.
I found very good advice and encouragement from two articles I read last week, both spectacular in their own ways. One by WendyMegget and her great and insightful post The Love of Writing where she explains how writers write from another place other than inside themselves, give her blog a visit, she’s brilliant! The other was a re-blog from Laura Beth at Hot Shot Headlines about another blogger, Didi Oviatt’s grandmother Doris, who just published her very first novel at the very young age of 80-something! If this isn’t inspiring I don’t know what is. This gives me the incentive to develop a couple of the stories I’ve begun and then, doubt sets in.
Will I be a good writer? Will people actually want to read what I write? These are only a few of the questions that run through my head while I’m at work and writing blog posts instead of reading what is probably the second worst grant proposal I’ve had the misfortune to work on. All the while my VP has brought in chocolate croissants (from a local French bakery) to watch the U.S play France in the Women’s World Cup. In my mind I’m shouting “No thanks boss I’m trying very, very hard to stay on my keto diet, but thank you for the temptation while I white knuckle it through today with all the carb filled celebratory food, ya insensitive bastards!”
But here at work when I write or should I say re-write the language has to remain neutral, scientific and positive for sponsors to consider funding the project. The explanations are sugar coated with scientific jargon and always needs to make the faculty member look and sound like they know what they’re doing. When I know damned well they can’t write for shit.
Following rules to re-write someone else’s bad writing are pretty much set when you do what I do for a living. Writing for myself or developing an idea into a book, I wonder can one use creative liberties to describe the ideas in their head? Should I follow the inspiration those posts I read help me go home this weekend and find the composition books with the story of Lestat? Go through each one and find what I left out on my blog posts and see if I can develop this story further?
Because God knows I’ve been at the other end of someone telling and re-telling the same story over and over and rolling my eyes wishing they’d shut the fuck up, all the while trying so hard not to stab them in the neck with a pencil!
Will people think the same thing about my exodus with Lestat? Will I bore or entertain? Will it be worth developing further? I’m not a writer, I’m a person who’s written about life experiences both serious and comical. Should I try really hard to control my “writers” ADD to try and finish the story that began twenty-some odd years ago?
On a side note, I asked my cat Charlie “Bruiser” O’Houlihan (his cat fight club name) who is wise and philosophical, about being a writer and this is the answer he gave me……..
Yeah, he can be an ass sometimes, but I still love his furry butt.
Until next time remember, chin up, soldier on and watch you back!