Yesterday morning I went to the flea market with my daughters and a friend. Not our usual Saturday activity, but my one daughter was leaving for school, and she asked me to go so I did.
We walked around the place, popping into and out of a lot of shops. In one I found a copy of Fanny Hill, the most popular piece of erotica in the 18th century (a great find since I’m currently writing a book set in, amongst other places, a brothel in the 18th century.) I also found a peacock necklace. (I love peacocks.) So it was a good start to the day.
One shop we went into had lots of really nice wooden furniture, many very pretty decorative things to hang on the walls, and wonderful conversation pieces. I started looking at these object and thought, “I should start to re-decorate my house. Take some time once I get out of school this summer to fix-up the dining room and living room with things like these. Maybe start collecting things again. Or I could begin to knit or crochet once more.” I really used to like to do needlework.
Immediately the voice in my head replied, “But you’d have to take time off from writing. Wouldn’t you rather be writing?”
All desire to decorate or do crafts or needlework died a swift death. Because of course I’d rather be writing than doing any of these other things.
At that moment I knew (as if I didn’t already know) that I was obsessed with writing.
I cannot remember what I did with all my time before I started writing. I think I read a lot more than I do now. And watched a lot more television. I did some crafty things, like quilting. But I can’t remember doing a lot of housekeeping sorts of things. I feel like I was waiting for my inner writer to be born.
I also wonder these days what people who aren’t writers do with their time because I can’t imagine what I’d do with mine if I didn’t write. I’m either writing, thinking about writing, or promoting my writing. I do have a day job that takes me away from writing on a daily basis, but any time I’m not at work, I’m writing. I’ve forced myself to live on 4-5 hours of sleep so I can write more. I’ve given up television (with the exceptions of Outlander, Downton Abbey, and The Big Bang Theory) and even a lot of time with my understanding spouse, in order to write.
I simply can’t imagine a life in which I do not write.
Obsession can be good, don’t you think? What are you obsessed with?