When I was a younger man, I found myself following many compulsions. When it came to high school, the compulsions were generally women. I would obsess over these women that I considered desirable. I would almost never approach them about the obsession, I would merely think about the idea of me and the girl being together for as long as the obsession would last. Generally, these thoughts would fade over time, either because of exhaustion over the desperation I would feel at my inability to approach these girls, or because some other source of obsession would come around, generally another girl.
The two times I actually allowed my obsession to be known did not end well. One of the two began a couple of years of sitcom-esque sexual tension, all regarding whether or not we would actually begin dating. She, I would assume, waiting for me to make some sort of move, me, obsessing over what each possible move I could make would end up gaining as a response. She knew I was interested, she gave me enough signs to believe she was interested, but it just never worked out. The other began a long relationship which ended because of the same reason it started. I was too obsessed over every detail. The obsession lasted long after the relationship ended, mostly due to my inability to understand why it ended. I don’t think she even understood why completely. However, obsession can be exhausting no matter which end of it you stand on.
My relationship with my wife, interestingly enough, did have a fair amount of obsession involved, but it was mostly involving an obsession with how I didn’t think I should be dating her. However, love won out over that obsession, and, luckily for the relationship, I had found other activities to become obsessed by, which means my idiotic compulsions never got in the way of our love for each other. Sometimes I find it peeking its ugly head toward the relationship, even today, but I can usually get it back in line without too much trouble.
Obsessions, these compulsions to obsess over every detail of the object or situation in question, can be very dangerous. This need to understand every possible outcome of an action, and weighing them out before moving, it can tear things apart quickly. Even if I can keep my over-obsessing about one single detail in check, the compulsion still reigns within every act of my life. I find myself unable to talk with people I don’t know while in social situations, as I spend so much time weighing out how each possible word I speak could skew their perception of me. Trying to introduce myself to new people, such as neighbors who just moved into the neighborhood, is impossible, as I can never seem to come up with a good way to do so without feeling that I’m appearing to be overwhelming them with my presence.
Without even realizing it, I, several years ago, had come up with a way of dealing with my compulsion to over-analyze everything. It was when I began spending a great deal of my time involved in creative pursuits. I found myself happy as I was able to put pieces together and actually put my compulsions to a productive purpose.
That’s one of the main reasons I began writing. Obsessing over details, not just the details of the story, but also the details of how to tell the story, what information to give the reader, whether or not a character would actually talk about his or her feelings in the way I’ve written, and whether or not to include the most minute details about their surroundings, gave me a place for my obsessions to go hog wild. When I’m in the midst of writing, I’m so busy obsessing about the details of the story I’m trying to craft that many of the other compulsions I could be following, just don’t have time to be obsessed about.
And. . . when I’m writing, I find myself to be in a much better place, mentally, as my obsessions serve a purpose. No longer are my wheels turning round and round looking for an answer that I could never know without acting blindly. Instead, I can come up with the answer and implement it, but have someone else do it, namely, one of the characters in whatever I’m working on at the moment. While I’m writing, I have absolute control over what everyone does, says, and thinks. I never have to worry about these characters judging me for my actions, because I’m unseen. And even the characters that I find myself connecting with in some way, are allowed to be judged, as it allows me to play out fully this concept I would be obsessing about, if I were the one in the same situation.
Writing is not just something I enjoy doing. It’s something that I believe I’m supposed to be doing. The flaws of my brain are no longer flaws when I’m putting a story together, they’re gifts. My obsessions do not require action for them to actually be productive, they just require me to put the obsession out on paper. When I’m writing, I’m able to almost feel impulsive, socially speaking, once again, as I find myself unafraid to vocalize things in the different ways I question attempting to vocalize them in real life.
Anyways. . . I like writing. It soothes my soul. It doesn’t take care of all the issues. If you were to ask my wife, I’m sure she’d tell you that she likes it better when I’m obsessing over a story I’m working on, but that she wishes I’d obsess just a little more over her during it. But, all the same, the feeling I get when I write, it’s like no feeling I’ve ever been able to have before. It gives me a chance to be me, without all that uncertainty of trying to present myself in the way I feel I should. I can vocalize those issues I just don’t think I can do in real life without appearing to be a jerk or whatever.
And with all that said, as I don’t have a great way to end this post. . . Yesterday was an incredible win for the new book. 2500+ words written. That puts my grand total up to a whopping 4000 words already, with really only 2 days of writing in the current product.
Here’s hoping I can keep up that momentum, because I’m getting really excited about where this novel is going.