Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Danger of My Obsession

You know the one thing I love more than writing fiction? Well, truth be told, there's more than one. But do you know the particular thing I'm thinking about right now, that I love more than writing fiction?

No you don't. Otherwise, you'd probably be reading something else about now.

Even more than writing, I love thinking about writing. Like several writers with a day job, I imagine what it will be like to have writing be the only work, but that's not what I mean.

I love thinking about the craft.  You know, imagining the characters I want to create, the feelings I want to bring out, the types of stories I want to tell.


Used to be I'd by every Writer's Digest magazine when it came out, along with the occasional Writer Magazine based on the content. And I'd devour them, learning more and more along the way.

If there's one thing I'm good at, it's trivial geek references.  If there's two things I'm good at, you can add obsessing about interests to the list.  Somewhere on the list, if you add enough things that I'm good at, you get to writing.

I adore it. Which means I obsess about it. And there's the danger.

All the things listed that I enjoy doing, from reading the magazines to daydreaming about the craft, they're all good things. The catch is, when I'm thinking about writing, it feels like I'm actually going through the process.  But if all I'm doing is thinking, reading, or talking about it, then no new words actually make it to the page.

Every single day, I have to remind myself to sit down in the seat and do the real work.  This is true whether it's the day after writing 2000 words, or a week after writing 100.

Obsessing about the craft will ultimately benefit me, but only if I turn it into the right kind of action.  Otherwise it becomes a hindrance and a danger to the writing.

You live and learn. At any rate, you live.

(That last line was one of those geeky references I mentioned. Just so you know that I know that I didn't come up with the line.)