Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Attention Writers...Obsess Much?

A couple days ago, Hubby and I had a big talk. Apparently, I am obsessed with writing.

Yes, it's true folks. I admit it. Of course after being told this, I did what any normal person would do... I Googled, "obsessed with writing."

In my "research", I found that obsession seems to be a popular trait shared by writers. They can't seem to stop writing or thinking about writing, talking about writing, reading about writing or... blogging about writing.

My husband's comment made me reflect and ask myself, "Self, how many people who are good at what they do or WANT to be good at what they do, are not slightly obsessed with their craft?"

And to this I have one word for you. Madonna.

She is good. She has drive and focus and really muscular arms as well as ... a string of failed relationships!..Oh no! Am I doomed? Eek!


I am not saying I am to be compared with Madonna... that I am good at writing because I am obsessed. Actually, I would like to admit to the opposite. My writing is slightly above the level of doggie doo-doo. But I think this is where the obsession thing comes into play.

Unlike my husband, things do not come easy to me. With the exception to Scrabble (yeah, that's right, mama rules around these parts!), my husband is good at everything he does. It is amazing. You name it, he can try it and then be a certified professional five minutes later. Lil' me on the other hand...I have to work, and obsess, and suffer, and then maybe I'll be okay at whatever I am trying to achieve. And to that, I give a mean pirate's ARGH!

For example, gardening. I love learning to garden. I love the creativity that you have to pour into a garden's design. I have been "practicing" for a few years now. I analyze other gardens I see, I research color variations, temperature zones as well as which plants are least likely to die under my watch (very important piece). Each spring and summer I  become obsessed with my backyard. Pruning, watering, planting, replacing dysfunctional plants that for some reason die on me despite my research efforts.  I also transform into Senora Gardening-Killjoy to my children...

Where'd you get that flower? Ah. Thanks. I know you love me. Don't pick the flowers.
Where'd you get that flower? Ah. Thanks. I know you love me. Don't pick the flowers.
(Repeated daily for about six months.)

But I feel this focus has gotten me far, at least in my own backyard universe.


EXHIBIT A:



Note: End of summer....no flowers...amused look on daughter's face. Son not so amused, probably just got "the Senora Gardening-Killjoy talk."

The point is, I don't know how  NOT to do things 100%. That is my problem. Whether it's gardening, sewing, mothering, studying, teaching, eating...I become obsessed, and writing is no exception.

My question for you blogosphere is...how do you manage your writing? Do you obsess? Do you suffer? Do you drive your family CRAZY? The most important question I have for you is...is it so wrong?

P.S. Isn't the banner art (done by the amazing Seth Ahonen) purdy? I am so, eternally grateful to Seth for allowing me to display his art right here, on this very blog. He is a talented northern California, Bay Area artist who does beautiful portraits, colorful murals, Day of the Dead themed art, as well as much more! Check him out!

25 comments:

  1. I love this type of interesting blog very much.
    Nice effort. Keep it on with this type of post......
    Research Paper Writing

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  2. Your new banner art is absolutely gorgeous! I love the colors and the lanky limbs on the kids.

    As far as obsessing, it's hard because ideas come when they come with no regard to a 9-5 schedule. I have to be mindful of taking breaks and not working 7 days a week. It helps that my kids are home, they give me plenty of interruptions from obsession :)

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    1. Thanks Heather! You talented artists! How do you do it? I agree, ideas do come whenever they please, which makes it so challenging for me to keep my head out of the clouds. Kids do help! Most of the time, they are the ones inspiring those book ideas in my house!

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  3. I do obsess and I have to be careful not to obsess so much with the research and reading about writing that I don't get any writing done. Good post.

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  4. LOVE the banner!!! And yes I am totally obsessed. Sigh. Not that it's doing me much good these days. But ask anyone in my house and they'll tell you I eat, sleep and breathe writing! :) Uh, and no that is not bad?

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    1. Susanna! Thank you! I am so honored to have Seth's work on my site! It seems like your passion and obsession for writing has gotten you pretty far! Look at all your beautiful books and your blog series(plural). I'm glad to know that you eat, sleep and breathe writing too. I was thinking about starting a family members of obsessed writers support group(FMOWSG). Whatcha think? =)

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    2. Ha! Susanna,
      One of my favorite writing mugs says, " Eat, Sleep, Write."

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  5. The banner is totally awesome!
    I am obsessed and do my best not to bore others with talk of my obsession. Most people don't get the writing obsession....they probably want to say...."Well, where's the book, honey?" And that's one reason I'm obsessed. I want to have a published book to show. Not just to "prove" my obsession is worthy in others eyes, but somewhat for validation that my obsession can bring enjoyment to others :-)

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    1. Thanks Penny! I love Seth's work. Sometimes I feel like I need a good slap in the face when I look at my page just to make sure I'm not dreaming. =)

      That is very honorable of you to not want to bore others with your writing talk. Maybe I should look into that. I might just have more friends!=) "Where's the book, honey?" LOL! I can't wait to read your books! You make me laugh!Thanks for stopping by Penny, my smelly hat contest winner!

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    2. Oh no! You have found an awesome way to make your blog one of those that I (and obviously lots of others) look forward to reading. I have the "Yea! It's Banana Peel Day!" moments. I compare it to Susanna Leonard Hall's blog...she has certain things on certain days that invite participation in a way that will hone our skills or give valuable information about Kidlit. That's what you do! I absolutely love reading about the Banana Peel experiences of writers!

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    3. THANK YOU! I am honored that you would think about my blog and Susanna's in the same train of thought! Wow-za!

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  6. Obsessed. I just plan weeks away in Africa to break things up a bit. :) Don't worry. We're all in the same boat. Glad we've found each other (Writers Anonymous or something like that).

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    1. Miranda...Have I told you how cool I think you are? A. You go to Africa B. You created Rate Your Story (which is genius) C. You are a fellow obsessed writer (I love people who share the same obsessions!) Thanks so much for reading! Enjoy your trip!

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  7. LOVE the banner! Yes, I'm obsessed, too. So much so, that I tend to get cranky sometimes when I'm stuck at work and wish I were home writing. It is definitely a balancing act, work, family, writing, but I would rather figure it out than not have the opportunity! :)

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    1. Jennifer! Thank you! Thanks for the banner compliments and thank you for admitting that A. you are obsessed and B. you get cranky trying to balance it all. I definitely agree that I would much rather have the issue of trying to figure out the balancing act that not doing it at all. Good attitude!=)

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  8. At the moment I am more obsessed with my new-found love of blogging, to the detriment of my actual paying work. I am less obsessed about the actual writing of PBs, partly because I don't like to put pressure on myself and partly because I am afraid of it...and both of those excuses are wrapped in a thick layer of procrastination.

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    1. Seriously! Blogging is something to get hooked on! I had to cut back BIG time so that I would actually begin to write again! Love the image of fear and pressure wrapped up by procrastination!

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  9. Absolutely love your new banner, Elizabeth :~])

    PB author Sarah Steward said, "You know you're in obsess mode when you stay in your pjs and slippers all day and write."
    (The days when you check the time, sit butt-to-chair, look up and hours have pasted. Those are the best days ever :~D)

    Writing and "real life" is definitely a balancing act! Love family and friends, but most non-writers don't have a clue what goes into what we do. (i.e. If someone doesn't walk in your shoes . . .)

    obession = dedication

    cranky = (My disclaimer: not a writer's fault)caused by characters rebelling when they don't have our undivided attention
    (Hmmm, sounds like some "real life" peeps I know. LOL!)

    gift of creativity = a precious gem

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    1. Thank you! I am so proud to have Seth's work on my site. He is so talented! Ha! Love your spin on obsession, crankiness, and the gift of creativity. (especially cranky!) Glad to have you on my side. :)

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  10. I would consider myself obsessed, but I think this is one of the best obsessions I have had in my life. The challenge is to keep from bothering my family with it. That's why I am thankful for the 12 x 12 community (my wife is thankful too!)

    Very nice post! Love the banner too!

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    1. Ah... I agree. Thank goodness for the online writing community! Thanks for stopping by Eric!

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  11. Oh I obsess. I have a million ideas and projects and constantly feel guilty that I don't have enough time to do them all. Then I obsess about time. And the obsession circle keeps on going.

    What's even worse is I obsess over one little detail. Instead of just obsessing about writing, I'll obsess about blog posts for a week, then struggle to bring myself out of that craziness, only to fall into freelance obsession, or poetry obsession, or this or that. Ahhh!

    Obsession isn't always a bad thing, it can be very useful to your craft. (Much like you mentioned above.) The key is learning to balance the obsession against the things that every day life gives you. And that's a key that I know well, but still struggle to learn....

    Best of luck!

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