Writing a book is hard and, at times, very frustrating. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love writing, but I wonder if I write more because I love to or if because I feel like I need to…
Sometimes I feel like I have an obsessive-compulsive disorder when it comes to writing. I’m currently in the process of editing my first book, Lucky Star. When I’m not working on it I find myself constantly thinking/worrying about my book. I’ll think about everything I need to edit and/or change. I’ll go over each of the characters’ traits and make sure each character is different from the rest of the characters. I constantly go over the events and whether or not there are any plot holes. I’ll think about these things so much that it becomes an obsession. I will tell myself, “okay, Abby, just go over everything one more time then stop thinking about the book,” but I find myself going over it a hundred more times. It’s as if I think I’ll forget everything, so I go over it in my head for three hours straight. It’s especially bad at night when I’m trying to sleep. I even made lists. A list of all the changes I need to make. A list of all the characters’ and their unique traits. A list of events. But even with these lists, I still continue to think about everything. My brain won’t shut up. It’s so stressful, I feel like I’m going to go crazy.
Sure, it’s incredibly stressful to the point when I just want to pull my hair out, but I think these obsessive thoughts help me. It’s funny, I have a hard time getting to the computer each day to work on my book; I keep procrastinating, but once I’m sitting in front of the screen it feels right. It feels as though I’m supposed to be there, in that moment, writing. It feels like it’s where I belong. I haven’t worked on editing my book in a week; The longer I go without writing, the more obsessed I become with getting back to writing. There’s a voice in my head telling me I need to work on my book, that I need to finish it. It haunts me, it literally does. Plus, there are the characters’ voices haunting me telling me to tell their stories. This past week had been hard, but the voice in my head reminding me of everything I need to do in my book brought me to the computer today to work on it. If I didn’t have this voice in my head, then I wouldn’t feel a need to be writing. I’m not always in the mood to write, but the voice in my head has other ideas. Like today, obsessing over my book was stressing me out so much that I had to get to the computer to work on editing it just so this voice would get out of my head. Once a change is made to the story, I stop thinking about that change. The more I edit my book, the less I have to think about that needs to be fixed, therefore, the less I have to obsess about. The editing part is definitely my least favorite part of writing a book because besides the voice telling me to write, it’s also telling me and always reminding me of the changes/edits I need to make.
If I didn’t have these obsessive thoughts, I would probably still be procrastinating. They are part of my motivation to get to the computer each day. Writing a book can be too stressful at times. Sometimes I think about giving up writing altogether, but I realized whether I write or not, I will always have the obsession to write. I feel compelled to. There will forever be the voice in my head telling me I need to write. The longer I go without writing my book, the louder the voice gets in my head. If I were to completely stop writing, I would go crazy, literally. I’m not joking. Also, I’ve noticed the longer I go without writing my book, the more depressed I become. Obsessive thoughts about writing/editing my book + becoming depressed = not a good combination. There were times I thought about seeing a counselor, but then I would begin to write again. Writing is my medicine. It’s a cure.
There’s a quote, “a writer never has a vacation. For a writer, life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.” ― Eugène Ionesco. This quote definitely rings true for me. When I’m not writing, I’m always thinking about writing— or having obsessive thoughts about it.