You don’t really realize how much need something until you don’t have it. I suppose everyone else has learned this by now, but after having spent so much time writing over the last year, I have finally run out of writing projects at work, and haven’t had time to work on any at home. Now, this was fine for a month or so because I had been writing lengthy whitepapers and educational articles that were sucking the life out of me.
I complained about writing them. I groaned about having to find yet another way to say “if you die” (in the event of your passing, should you pass away, when you expire… there are so many out there), and I dreaded having to use the word “important” yet again. But now? Now I have nothing to write at work. Nothing. Instead, we are focusing on other projects. Boring projects. Long and bland projects that require you to squeeze creative juice out of your dried up, papery brain.
It is because of this that I have reached a rather obvious revelation: when I don’t write I become a writing zombie. And though it may seem to be a stretch of a comparison, I honestly feel as if I am lumbering about with arms outstretched hoarsely croaking, “WWWWOOOORRRRDDDSSSS”.
I am markedly unhappy, irritable, and “dark”. My usual cynicism has expanded to new levels and I remind myself of a small child who, when he/she finds his/herself overtired, blurts thing like, “I hate everything”, and “I don’t like you”. I feel slow and pointedly uninterested in all of my other projects. And the reason for all of this immature and uncharacteristic behaviour is a lack of writing.
I always have something on the go, but I seem to be living in an in-between right now. Probably for the first time in years, and it is quite a foreign experience. Of course, I am still reading, still thinking about plots and characters, still planning projects, but I have nothing meaty to write. And apparently, when that happens I turn into a monster.
I never realized how much I needed writing until I didn’t have it, and now I have decided that for me it is akin to a serious addiction. There are words in my veins, in my breath, and in my soul, and when they get trapped it’s like a thick, black, log jam of ink. I’m surprised I haven’t started spewing random sentences at people. And even more surprised that I haven’t lunged at anyone, pawing at their head, asking for a writing project.
You don’t have to be a writer by trade to be one by heart. It’s the kind of calling that is a part of you, not just something that you like to do or that you are good at. Writing is one of those arts that, when it really is a piece of who you are, you need to practice and release or you will go a little nutty.
Meaning, you become a writing zombie like me, begging for words and devouring them like brains.
Have you ever been a writing zombie? What happens when you don’t have any writing projects? How long can you go without writing?
ICYMI I’m on Facebook.