(Un)Healthy Writing 4: Addiction

Addictions start out small.  A sip here, a puff there.  A tasty treat that turns into a binge eating session.  “Just another minute” at the keyboard that turns to just a few more hours.

My question: can we include writing in a list of addictions that afflict people across the globe?

I honestly don’t have an answer for you on whether or not writing can consume your time and attention in such a way that it can be classified as addiction.  I do know that writers can spend a disproportionate number of hours at their desks.  I know that some writers spend virtually every free moment in front of the screen.  Or dreaming of being in front of the screen.

I know that clothes go unwashed, kids are left to fend for themselves and all real life social activities taper off into nonexistence.  I know that significant others complain that writers have better relationships with their characters than with them.

But does this qualify as a writing addiction?

I suppose it could if one is actually writing or performing some kind of writing task while letting real life dribble off into nothingness.  However, I assume this isn’t necessarily the case.  I assume that other activities invade writing time and the proposed addiction may not be writing itself, but some form of socializing.

Angry Birds, anyone?  Facebook, blogs, AgentQuery, research, chat rooms…?

Are you an effective writer, or one whose writing time borders on social addiction?  Is it possible to be addicted to the writing process itself?  If so, how does an aspiring author break the addiction yet still be productive?  How can writing dreams interfere with real life priorities, and how can we be more efficient in fewer hours?

Curious minds want to know.


5 responses to “(Un)Healthy Writing 4: Addiction

  1. christinarodriguez0

    There are certainly aspects of writing I’m addicted to: Idea generation, outlining, revision. They get in the way of actually putting pen to paper and FINISHING something far too often.

    • Hi, Christina!

      I do that, too, sometimes. But then again, I’m not winning awards for my beautiful stick figures artwork like you are, so you must be doing something right!


  2. I’m definitely addicted to living in my own mind. There are times when I have to remind myself that the people up there are not real and I need to pay more attention to the ones right in front of me.

  3. There are times when I’m too caught up with living in my own head. I have to remind myself that the people up there are not real, and I need to give more time to the real people right in front of me.

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