Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Writing Addiction

I've just finished the draft and revision of a new paranormal erotic romance novella. Soon I'll send it to one of my regular publishers, who I hope will accept it. What a great feeling.

To me, writing behaves almost literally like an addiction. I feel anxious and depressed if I'm unable to do it for too long. Yet I don't enjoy doing it. I like brainstorming and outlining a new project. I like reading the galley file of a book almost ready for publication. But not the process of first-draft composition. When I finish it, though, I feel euphoric (a lot of which probably comes from relief that the thing IS finished and off my mind).

However, the high doesn't last long. The allure of a new project beckons, this time a story that really WILL turn out as a faithful realization of the idealized, though vague, image in my head—unlike all my previous works. Each "fix" promises total fulfillment that none of the earlier ones delivered.

I wish I enjoyed the act of writing, like a few authors I've heard about, such as Isaac Asimov, who never willingly stopped even on vacations. When I started creating fiction, as a teenager, I couldn't wait to pour out my (mostly dreadful) tales onto the page. The typewriter (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth) barely kept up with the sentences in my brain. I wish that fluency would return, but I think knowing too much about what I'm doing impedes the flow, like the centipede stuck pondering which leg to move first. Do most of you enjoy writing? Or mainly enjoy having written?

Margaret L. Carter
Carter's Crypt


  1. I love the act of writing... I feel the compulsion, and the unhappiness when I don't get to write, but the two hours at dawn I spend actually crafting fiction is one of the best parts of my day.

  2. I love first drafting, even second drafts where I add scenes, move big blocks of text around. To me that is like treasure hunting. Hate detail editing, would never be a copy editor. Reminds me of being a school girl I guess! By the time I submit a project I generally hate it until it is published.

  3. Wish I still enjoyed first drafting. There are brief periods when I do, but not frequently. I rather like detail editing (that's why I'm a legislative editor in my day job) -- for one thing, it means I'm close to being finished. However, I agree with you that after I submit a piece, I'm impatient with ever looking at it again until it's published.