I’m addicted to writing.
Since retiring in 2009 my morning routine includes making a French press of coffee shortly after waking, wandering downstairs with sleep sand in my eyes, reading at a computer for the first cup, then writing.
When I’m writing everything fades into background as I consider words on a screen. It is bliss.
This blog hit a record number of views in January with four more days to go. I’ve posted almost every day since apple season ended. If I consistently apply my skills as a proof reader and editor I can produce a post that engages readers without calling attention to the prose. I live for return readers and discussions in society about what I’ve written. That too is addictive.
I’ve become some kind of writer animal. The work is not really process, more like a habit that roots out meaning in a common life. Some days are better than others, but an intellectual or human side appears only irregularly.
The addiction worries me.
Cognizant of increasing age I’m reluctant to spend too much time writing. When I begin, minutes and hours go by in a mysterious vortex that sucks away time leaving a few hundred words. That’s not all bad, just worrisome.
With the economic security of income from diverse sources, I’m free to do what I want. From time to time I think about building a wooden bench to place under one of the trees I planted. In good weather I’d read poetry and consume Galoises and Pernod Ricard while immersed in sunlight and pondering the muse. I’ve been drunk in France after too many anise aperitifs and don’t smoke. As good as it sounds, I doubt that’s my future.
Process isn’t everything but it helps. If I were to improve my writing — take out some of the animal-like habits — that’s where I’d focus. Seeking raw material in memory and artifact, discovery of meaning in society, followed by writing, re-writing and more re-writing. Something positive seems likely to result.
As I finish my second French press of coffee I’m wide awake.
I’m drawn to this comforting place, surrounded by books, with a small space heater keeping away the subzero temperatures outside. I’ll ponder my craft a while longer before turning everything off until tomorrow. Such pondering making us human as much as writing ever might.