Writing Through Winter

Today’s office music, Feb. 27, 2023.

Writing daily may not be good for us. When I write for days in a row, I find myself withdrawn into the world of my book. Everything with which I engage in real life — every person , document, artifact, memory — becomes viewed through the project lens. It can be hard to differentiate reality from the version of it I seek to narrate. It has made it difficult to get along some days.

If I read a book, I am thinking about how the author’s approach could be used or avoided in mine. If I read a memoir, my page-by-page reaction is about how good or bad each choice by the author may be. The same thing happens with a work of art or piece of music. It is a deep immersion filter necessary to the creative process.

Writing can be addictive. When writing and re-writing a passage, there can be a dopamine surge in our brains. I feel a release once a passage gets edited and I can stand up and stretch. It is difficult to tell where habits end and addiction begins.

Most days, I get ideas. If my desktop is booted, I go to the manuscript and work the idea into the narrative. If my CPU is turned off, I jot a note in my mobile device to come back to it. It seems improper to live like this. Alternatively, it one hella way to live.

Perhaps if I could see the book’s endpoint it would be easier to cope. I am beginning to yearn for the next project. Spring is coming and the garden will take more time, breaking the daily writing cycle. That could be good or bad. The trouble is, when I’m writing daily for long shifts, it is hard to break away from it. Living a normal life is made more difficult by addiction to writing.

Until I finish the first draft I’ll continue withdrawing into my book’s world. It should make the writing better. Hopefully people will recognize me when I emerge on the other side.

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