A Writing Disorder.

photo.jpg I once wanted to be a Writer. I thought about writing every minute of every day. I exhausted my thoughts with words and dreamed of epic stories that I would one day tell. In my sleep I could smell stories and while awake I carried a pen with me every place I went. I purchased empty notebooks which stacked up on my bookshelves. I read all the classics, fell in love with the beats and drove myself crazy trying to live like a bohemian. I dressed as I thought a writer should dress and shaped my words with the pretension of a man with something to say. I had epic vision of numerous novels that I would one day write. I drank in bars and argued about Joyce’s prose style and the validity of Borges. After the sun set I rummaged my way through book stores and strip clubs searching for inspiration. I smoked cigarettes and talked with a drawl while watching ordinary mortals waste their lives away at day jobs. I never wrote a single word.

Now in my middle years I could give two shits about being a writer. I drink less than I did years ago and am never awake to see the sun rise. Meditation is my daily practice and I seldom set foot in a bookstore or strip club. The prose style of Joyce is as uninteresting to me as the sex life of a squirell and I have a tendency to wear the same jeans and t-shirt for a few days in a row with no concern for how I look. Smoking is a habit I no longer abide by and hanging out in bars is as exciting to me as playing golf. I read some fiction but most of my time is spent thinking about anything but books. I am completely unconcerned with the act of writing or becoming a writer- yet I am unable to stop writing. I write almost every day and there is no sign of a word or story shortage in sight. Strange how things resolve themselves with time?


  1. Perfect. Saw it coming but you made the turn with such grace and style, very relaxed and calm inside your prose. Really nice balanced piece of writing, supercool,

  2. I can relate to that. I spent years in a fury writing here and there – always fleeting, never substantial – because it wasn’t my voice that spoke. Until I began to look everywhere but in writing.

    My relationship to writing is perhaps like any other love affair: To make it work you should never be too desperate.

  3. wait a minute! smoking and going to bars? is that what writers do? far out. i’m so off track. no wonder i can’t write properly, i hardly drink as much as i’d like to. so, should i be getting laid with someone new every fortnight? i just want to get my disorder right. i want to live it.

  4. Nice comments. Always enjoyable to read such words. As far as what a writer should or should not do, it is hard to say. In my case, I was caught up in a romantic notion of being a writer. I lived the stereotypical myth, pretending like I was Henry Miller at the turn of the century. A slippery slope, because one is lost in someone else’s character. We can only create good characters when we have found our own. If drinking and hanging out in bars calls to one than by all means indulge. Like the Talmud says- “we are like olives, we do not bring forth what is best in us until we are crushed.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s