Monday, February 1, 2010

Addiction or Hobby?

Suzette: We should start writing books.
Me: Huh? What do you mean writing books?
S: I was watching this interview with the author of Holes. He said all it takes to write a novel is an hour a day and a year.
Me: Really? I've always wanted to write a book.
S: Me, too. So do you want to do it?
Me: Seriously?
S: Why not?
Me: Because I failed ninth grade English and didn't finish college?
S: So what. We might as well try it.
(This is where I stare at her, my mouth hanging open, wondering if she's gone crazy)
Me: Uh-duh. Sure. An hour a day. I can do that. (Insert internal groan)

One year later: Status: We had both written two manuscripts (45,000 to 120,000 words--yeah, I was a little long-winded back then!).
Two years later: Status: We had both written another manuscript (or two).
Seven years later: Status: I am working on my ninth manuscript. Suzette is working on her fifth.

Conclusion: Writing can become a long-term addiction. Beware!

So, are you addicted? How long have you been writing? And what in the world inspired you to try it?

Speaking of addictions, be sure to check out Diana Paz's blog, Writing Roller Coasters. She has a sweet contest going on right now!

42 comments:

Diana Paz said...

I am SOOOOOO addicted. Even though I've been one of those who's been writing since forever, I've only gotten disciplined about it in the last two years. Being regimented has made the addiction so much stronger.

What inspired me? College creative writing classes. I became addicted to short stories in college. Then one of my professors told me if I became serious about writing a novel, I had the "stuff" to go the distance. And here I am... determined to prove her right (even if it's taking me longer than I first thought).

Jackee said...

Oh! How I loved this insight.

I AM addicted. I told myself in 2005 I would give it five years and see if I could make it to publication. Published or not, I can't shut off the valve now. Yesterday I calculated how many hours a day I spend on writing, editing, research, and industry research and it was a full eight hour day. No wonder I feel I neglect my children, house, and friends!

I am inspired by stories and characters that won't shut up and leave me alone. That's how it all started.

Kimberly Franklin said...

So addicting is right! I've only just started writing, but I've already written 2 manuscripts. It's pretty much much my life now and I love it!!!

Scott said...

Way too long! Seriously.

I began writing in, well, I'm not going to say, but it was a really, really long time ago.

Is it an addiction? Well, I couldn't stop if I tried, so, yeah, it's an addiction of sorts. Would I want to stop? Heck, no! Is there a 12 step program to help me if I wanted to stop? Not that I know of, so I just keep on writing and hoping that one day, preferably sooner rather than later, I get an agent, an editor, a publishing deal, and all that jazz!

S

Tamika: said...

Love this post! And I'm so addicted to writing!

Sitting in PF Chang yesterday I cracked my fortune cookie for the paper slip predicting my future. Which I normally read for pure kicks. This one said you are a lover of words- you should write a book!

Don't mind if I do!

Karen said...

Long ago inspiration: telling stories to myself as a child.

Recent kickstart: sleepless hours breastfeeding the Pea and thinking up plot ideas.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Great post. For me, it began as a dream that I treated as a hobby. Now, it's an addiction. :-)

Nisa said...

Funny you should ask. I was just going to write this one series that's been running through my head for the last ten years. That's it. Then I was done. Well, Now I have three other book ideas... Hehe!

Michele Emrath said...

I am addicted to WANTING to. I am addicted to writing and forming my novel...but actually placing chapter beside chapter, I don't really know what I am waiting for. I really do have a bunch of it done, and a whole lot of research under my belt. I can blame the new diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, my two children (4 and 22 months), my husband's high-pressure job (wakes at 430 and returns home between 8&9pm)...But really, other people do it, right?

You all are inspiring. I wish my sister lived closer.

Michele
SouthernCityMysteries

Tere Kirkland said...

I started writing as a teen, but only had time for scholarly writing (and partying) in college. Then came gradschool, when I wrote a few ideas that never got anywhere. Now I feel like I'm making up for lost time, but I've been writing seriously since 2005. I doubt I'll ever stop, even if I never get published.

Medeia Sharif said...

I'm addicted to writing. I've written an average of a book a year since '94.

BTW, I'm passing a blog award to you. :)

http://sharifwrites.blogspot.com/2010/02/won-award.html

Sarah said...

Addiction. But as a person with lots of OCD traits. I generally feel the word obsession better fits what I suffer from.

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

Hey there. I gave you The Lovely Blog Award. Come by and pick it up!

http://melissajcunningham.blogspot.com/

Michelle H. said...

Yes, I'm addicted. I wrote two novels just for the "fun" of it to see if I had the passion to pursue writing long term. I did. I shoved those stories away and started being serious about it for the past four years. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on finding an agent and getting published.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

What a great story. I'm addicted too. I'm only on my second MS, but I can see this addiction will not end any time soon.

L.T. Elliot said...

Oh, writing is my crack and reading is my chocolate. Only I never have any intentions of getting help for it. ;)

V. S said...

Your story made me smile :) It's always nice to hear why other writers began writing.

WindyA said...

Addiction. Definitely. I get all twitchy if I don't have some kind of writing instrument with me at all times.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

It's definitely an addiction for me. I'm rather obsessive about it, I think.

Loved the dialogue. Very funny. So good to see how things got started for you and how far you've progressed.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

It's definitely an addiction for me. I'm rather obsessive about it, I think.

Loved the dialogue. Very funny. So good to see how things got started for you and how far you've progressed.

Shelby said...

pretty darn addicted. every thing I hear.. I notice.. I imagine.. how to describe it and how it fits in my story.

DL Hammons said...

I don't consider it an addiction...more like its become part of who I am. I coming on two years since I awakened and I've written a 135,000 word novel, a 105,000 novel, and three short stories. It would be great if I could find somebody who thought they could do something with them. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm an addict too :) I've been writing since...???

Writing with an eye towards possible publication is pretty new - about a year. Fun stuff!

Carolyn V. said...

Addicted! I've only been writing for a few years, but you gotta start somewhere. =)

Kathy McIntosh said...

I've always loved words and thought the switch from writing marketing and PR documents to writing fiction would be WAY easier than I've found it. But I love the learning and the writing and figure once I sell, I have the marketing stuff down! Ten years plus of serious writing, but never full time, alas.

ChristaCarol said...

Haha, you guys make me giggle. The idea of writing was planted in my head when I was ten. I remember watching something on the news about an eleven-year-old boy who'd written a book (I don't remember the details, I think it was published, but I was ten, I could think up anything). I remember thinking "I can do that!" I started many books, and have always loved creating stories, but didn't get serious with it until about three years ago. And it IS addicting, especially when those characters won't leave you alone.

Dominique said...

I'm editing and rewriting at the moment. Every now and then, I think, "Why do you do this?" And then I think, "Because I must." It's become a part of who I am. I think that's part of the description of addiction.

G said...

What inspired me to write was that back in late 2005, I was going through some personal issues, and I needed a way to vent without getting into trouble (so to speak).

Four plus years later, I'm still at it. While I say I'm not completely addicted to it, it has nevertheless been a most fun and enjoyable ride.

I write both for fun (a short story blog) and I write for (hopefully) future success.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Addicted? Let's just say my husband thinks I'm might need therapy. :D I can't go through an hour without at least thinking about my characters. I can't go two hours without experiencing an major urge to write.

I started three or four years ago when I left my job to stay home with my kids. I wanted to do something for me. And I had always wanted to write historic romances. Fortunately I quickly realized that YA was more my forte.

Sharon Mayhew said...

Super post, Ladies! I'm not sure if I'm addicted or not. I know I was before our move, but since the move (new state and climate) things keep getting in my way. Hopefully, I'll fid my way back to writing...

Julie Dao said...

Hello, my name is Julie and I'm addicted to writing. (chorus: Helloooo Julieeee) This was a great post! I actually stopped writing all through college but turned right back to it as soon as I was working and had more free time. I don't think I'll stop ever!

Elana Johnson said...

This is beyond true! So addicting. I think anything creative is addicting, though. Or maybe I just have an addictive personality. :)

Jennie Englund said...

Right now, I'm addicted to writing and submitting short stories. They are SO much easier to write and revise than books.

And somehow, it's almost the same satisfaction...

Southpaw said...

I totally love that story!

Cynde L. Hammond said...

Hi, Suzette and Bethany!

I have been addicted to writing since I was a little girl, but was never able to pursue it until a few years ago, and then not for real until just this past year.

It is my sincere wish/goal/dream/prayer that I actually finish the two novels that I am working on so that I can get them published. I think I would be so happy if I could do that--it's like my ultimate goal right now.

By the way...don't miss the "Guest Author Interview" on my blog today...Kathryn Casey is dropping by! Click here to see her interview. Mary Cunningham is scheduled after her, OK?

Also, did you notice "The $5,000 LuShae Sweepstakes" on my blog? Enter the online sweepstakes competition for the chance to win $5,000 cash (to spend anywhere you like). They also draw one $200 monthly random winner each month! Just visit my blog for the details--it's EASY and you won't want to miss out on this one--TRUST ME! Check it out...all the details are right here.

Do you two have any ideas that would help me in getting my blog to get going? I know that I need to be more consistent, but hopefully I will be able to when I get my laptop back. It's been out for repair OVER SIX WEEKS now, and it's driving me crazy! I'm behind on my writing class, too, and I hate that! But what I need is ideas other than that. Maybe people just don't like me? Who knows.

*Hugs*
Cynde (Cynde's Got The Write Stuff)
Cynde's Got The Write Stuff

Michelle McLean said...

Hi, my name is Michelle and I've been a writing addict for three years now :) Actually, I've been writing snippets here and there all my life, but it's only been the last three years or so that I really decided to get serious about it. Wait, no! It's been longer than that because I started my first novel before my daughter was born, so I'm probably going on five years. Wow. LOL time flies :)

Natalie said...

Wow, 9 manuscripts! Someday, someday. I'm working on #3. I started writing 2 and 1/2 years ago. But I wasn't really excited about it until last year. Now, I can't imagine not doing it.

Suzette Saxton said...

Great post, Bethany! I remember that day all too well. Historic moment for both of us!

Super comments, everyone. I mean SUPER! And super-addicting. I've been glued to my son's laptop, reading every single one. What a crazy-fun group we writers are!!!

Suzette Saxton said...

Oh Cynde, forgot to say thanks for your questions. I'll address them in a future blog post. :D I'm heading over to your blog now.

Keliah said...

I can safely say I'm addicted to writing just about anything and have been since I was a kid, really. I even tried to stop writing once in high school, just to see if I could. I couldn't. When college came along and I told my English professor I wanted to create fiction stories, she referred me to the Creative Writing department, and I haven't looked back since! :)


Luckily, writing is much healthier than my addiction to reese's peanut butter cups. *Races to fridge to look for a package NOW*

Georgiana said...

It really IS an addiction. Every time I think I'm going to stop and move on to something else, I get an idea.....

5 years and counting!

Noble M Standing said...

I am an addict and I refuse treatment. I have been writing for over 20 years on and off. I wrote a 198 page handwriten story my junior year. However I got serious about it about five years ago. I have written numerous stories and numerous versions of those stories. I took, on my BFF's suggestion, my book back five years, and gave him a first wife (the current wife didnt like that idea).I completely rewrote that book and am now editing that book with an editor and am going to resubmit it to the publisher of my dreams.

So both 20 years and five, I don't try to decide.