I suffer from something a few call “the curse” in writing – otherwise known as the seeming inability to keep oneself from writing. I’m sure you’ve all either heard of it or have dealt with it yourself. The lying awake at night unable to go to sleep with all the pictures in your brain. Being distracted and spaced out during the day as two characters battle it out in your cranium. Constantly feeling the urge to write so you can at least get it out of your head and under some semblance of your control.
It’s a romantic proposition to consider: being called to or possessed by a muse, God, a chemical imbalance in your brain, or what may have you.
The other day I started to wonder about the “curse” part of it. I hadn’t really thought about it much, halfway considering it a facetious way to complain about how it felt like being possessed sometimes. While time consuming, I mean really – the constant desire to express oneself creatively through words. Oh darn, lemme go write another neat story that’s racing around with my neurons.
I’m finding that those who do not “suffer” from this particular strange biochemical weirdness, but who do still write, are often much more purposeful in their writing. Instead of being dragged along as the imagination goes haywire, they seem much more focused on the point of their story. So I’m starting to wonder if the “curse” isn’t the who-knows-why-we-feel-so-compelled problem, but that our writing is not naturally so purposeful – and thus we have a problem not going off in tangents.
I might be completely wrong here. And it’s definitely true that those suffering “the curse” can learn to be more purposeful, and that these overly-simplistic camps I’ve put writers into do not cover the whole story. But it’s fun to think about.
Also, I have a strange inkling that “pantsers” are often more under the subjection of “the curse” while plotters tend to be less so. What do you think about all this?