Monday, November 20, 2006
My earliest addiction
My earliest addiction was - and still is - story-telling. I started putting it all on paper a little over 30 years ago and at my most prolific I wrote 5 novels in one year, while doing a full-time job. I wasn't drinking then. Funny, that...
I've never had anything published, but that isn't the main point of my writing (although it would be lovely to have a royalty cheque). The point is that while I'm writing, I am creating a whole world, one that absorbs me and makes me laugh and cry and want to dance and sing. I would like other people to enjoy that world too, and one day it will happen, I know it.
The last novel I completed was about 10 years ago. A lot happened in between 1992 - 1995. I'd always enjoyed a drink but the events of that period - nothing unusual, nothing other people don't have to go through in their lives - put a pressure on me that I couldn't handle and I think that's when my drinking became more of a problem.
A few weeks before I decided I was going to quit drinking (not forever, you understand, just to make sure I could - how many people have you heard say that?) I discovered a writing competition - National Novel Writing Month. The prize was the pride in being able to say, 'I completed a 50,000 word novel in a month.' Day 1 of novel-writing, 1 November, coincided with the first month anniversary of my last drink. Hangover-free, no longer mentally pouring my next drink, I've found my mind has been free to indulge in my real, guilt-free, addiction: writing. The hardest part is knowing when to stop! I could keep on writing all night tonight - it's flowing so well - but I have work in the morning and although it's a horrible job that I loathe, I still have enough pride to want to show up and do it well.
Instead of taking a final drink to bed, which I used to do, I'm taking my main characters with me. I'll be thinking about what they'll be doing next on the page, not when I can have another drink. It's been a nice evening, me, my computer, a sandwich and a diet coke - and the blogs of others who are re-discovering what life is really all about without alcohol casting its shadow.
Goodnight. See you tomorrow.
Posted by Amerynthe at 10:32 pm