Addiction and the Creative Types(In My Opinion)

Addiction:  the condition of being addicted (to a habit), spec. the habitual use of narcotic drugs.

Creative:  (3) having or showing imagination and artistic or intellectual inventiveness(creative writing).  —- Webster’s New World Dictionary

I’m a writer:  Creative.  Word lover.  Avid reader.  Imaginative.  Deep down there’s a pull to make believe; the desire to convince others that my imaginary friends are living, breathing human beings.  My mind is alive with various characters, dialogue, settings, and plot lines.  A chaotic place indeed.

But what is the correlation between addiction and creative people?  Is it because we have so much inner turmoil constantly brewing that we struggle to numb; to quell our demons?  Reaching for just a few minutes of quiet respite?

Some forms of addictions I am acutely aware of:  Sex, drugs, alcohol, money, food, and even work; just to name a few of the better known ones.  A beloved author of mine was besieged by his own inner demons:  Edgar Allan Poe.

I still drink at times though older now I have learned to control it.  But it my younger days I’d go all out.  A mind crowded with thoughts and ideas to the point that either I wanted to either scream or numb it so that it could be controlled.  Addictions find us in a frightening place.  Sometimes I believe we rather not get the help so as to keep the juices of creativity flowing.  Maybe we see our addictions as helping us be part of the bigger picture.  To let us taste of the real world.  To help us understand humanity on a deeper level.  To make our character more real to those we are fortunate enough to have read our words.

Creative types are continually striving to create.  We cannot put down that pen, brush, or instrument.  We have learned not to fit the sway creativity hold over us.  It is near impossible to still the hand, the heart, or the mind.  Like air and water, creating is what keeps us alive; nourishes our souls.  Without it, we are at a loss.

So if you have a child who decides, at a tender age, to pick up a pen, or a brush, or an instrument, or whatever they desire to do, do not discourage them.  Even if you yourself feel bound to do one of these, do it!  For it is the creative types who eventually change the world.

NaNoWriMo Challenge

This is my first endeavor into the wonderful and exciting world of NaNoWriMo.  I’m four days into it and have completed my word count each day so far.  I’m up to 6,919 words.  But I am questioning my novel idea.  I am beginning to hate my two main characters.  Their personalities have gotten away from me.  They’re jerks.  Normally I try to keep my characters positive and people-friendly.  But not these two young men.  They are both alcoholics.  One worse than the other.  Sex-craved, chauvinistic, chest-pounding a-holes.  How did I lose control of them?  Is this a good thing to allow your creative juices to run away with itself? 

But I know this contest is only for a rough draft, and this work is definitely rough.  In more ways than one.  I have added a lot of swearing and sex.  These are two young men who grew up in abusive homes.  In trouble since elementary school.  Into heavy-metal.  Struggling to find jobs, and then trying to hold on to them.  I want to make them as realistic as possible, but being a female trying to delve into the male mind, it’s not an easy task.  But with this challenge, I wanted to go outside of my comfort zone.  I needed to do something different.  Something off-color.  Something that wasn’t a romance.  Those would be easier to write, being a woman with a big imagination, and a love of anything romantic. 

So, four days into it, and not struggling…yet.  I’ve been warned.  It’s coming.  The doubts.  The boredom.  The fretting.  The damn-I-don’t-feel-like-writing-today days.  But this is why I write.  It is not to be in the spotlight.  It’s no longer about achieving the fame and fortune, but about just making a decent living while writing and the extra income it could bring in.  Would I love to be a full-time writer?  Yes.  More than anything, I would.  But I’ve learned something by reading a lot of blog posts, and writing sites that I write because I want to.  Not for fame, not for glory, not for the money, but because I just plain love putting words to paper, or to screen, in a lot of cases nowadays.  I’ve mentioned this before, but it is in my blood.  Since I was a child, I had this intense desire to create.  I’ve tried other creative endeavors which I’ve failed miserably at:  painting, drawing, sewing, knitting, crafts…just don’t have it in me, though that talent does run in my family(somehow it just missed me).  But writing, creative writing, having the ability to create characters, and settings, and stories that can last throughout the generations.  I just want to write.  No.  I need to write.  There is no inner peace when I’m not writing.  I crave that peace, that serenity when I’m creating a new world.  It’s about the desire to share new and interesting heroes and villains, about describing the fight between good and evil, and that, in the end, I want to have my characters make a difference, in their lives as well as the readers’ lives.  Is that too much to ask?

So, each day will be a challenge.  To what extent, I have no idea yet.  To all those writing day after day, with the same fire in their souls that burns within mine, I wish you continued success.  Take it one day at a time.  Writing should never be a chore.  For when it becomes that, the fire slowly diminishes and begins to burn out.  Don’t allow that flame to blow out.  You can do this.  You have the creativity, the drive, and the passion to create.  Let it take you to places in the imagination that you never thought you’d go to.  Achieve your writing dreams.  I know I am.  For this is a challenge to myself to say, I can write 50,000 words in 30 days.  And if I can do that, then there is no excuse for me not getting a short story out in that time.  A little push never hurt anyone.

Until next time, friends, happy writing.

When I Grow Up…

I have always wanted to be a writer ever since the fourth grade when I wrote my first short story about a house in the winter woods.  My uncle Henry paid me a few bucks for writing it and I was hooked!  But over the years I have struggled with the ‘why’ of my desire to write.  I had always been a rather shy and withdrawn individual and the teasing I received in school didn’t help matters any.

Finally succumbing to the pressures of my peers, I saw myself as a nothing.  I wasn’t special, no matter how many times my parents told me differently.  And I wrote.  So many short stories with my classmates as the main characters hoping that somehow I could find a way to fit in.  Some liked it, others just ignored it.  I began to live through the characters in my short stories.  They became my friends and confidantes.  Strange, I know, but for a teenage girl feeling the pressures and the strain of her own angst, it helped to alleviate the pain of being the outcast.

I wanted to make a statement to the world.  I wanted to become rich and famous through the words that I jotted down, and to show my peers that, yes, I was a somebody.  Not the loser they saw me as.  And yes, my words have brought comfort to me fretting soul.  The poetry I write has been and still is a release for my deep inner turmoil that festers within me.  Nice picture, isn’t it?

I love words. I am one of those ‘crazy’ people who reads the dictionary, discovering new words and meanings.  As I’ve grown older, I have calmed down quite a bit.  Now instead of seeking glory and fame, just give me the ability to write for a living and make a few bucks off of it.  I’ve learned to be content with who I am on the inside.  I can control the demons within.  Though sometimes the thoughts in my head scare even me.  I worry that if I write about this or that what would people think of this ‘nice Christian girl’?  But I’ve come to realize that I need to release the stories within me.  Writing is like an addiction, you have to do it.

And the reading part about writers is sooo true.  I love to read.  Books have been my friends through the years.  So many different authors and titles.  Yes.  Now I’ve learned the art of contentment and of peace.  Perhaps the saying is right that with age brings wisdom…and peace.

Happy writing to you all.  If your dream is to write, then by all means do it.  We’ll encourage each other!