Writing fixes me.
Before I started writing, I changed careers every five minutes. My family was living in a constant state of upheaval. When I wasn’t changing jobs, I was repainting the house or moving furniture from room to room. It took vast amounts of change to get my ADD brain’s needle to move, to feel excited about something. And those changes were very difficult for my decidedly-not-ADD husband.
What I didn’t know when I started was that writing would help me better than any medication ever could. And I’ve tried a lot of ADD meds.
National Novel Writing Month is why I started. I wanted to see if I could complete the challenge of writing a 50,000 word novel in a month.
I wondered if I could do it. In the words of Joy from the animated film, Inside Out, “I’ve got a great idea!” This sentence is one that my friends and family have come to fear. “Uh oh,” they think, “what’s Auburn up to now?”
Writing a novel in a month seemed like a fun, mildly crazy, and possibly unattainable challenge and I’m always up for one of those. The more impossible a task seems, the more I’m lit up by the idea of tackling it.
But then, two days before it was time to start this novel that I had zero idea how to write, my parent’s marriage of 36 years ended dramatically. That’s a whole separate angsty story, but I mention it because for the next two days I contemplated whether I should just try the book thing another time. I mean, some challenges are just too big, right?
But, it turned out, that writing that book was a welcome distraction. For thirty days I ignored the emotional chaos in my own life and focused on creating drama for fictional characters.
Writing calmed me down. Hyper-focusing on completing a draft of a novel in such a short time was just the medicine I needed to process through my feelings. When life became too difficult to cope with, I turned back to my book and channeled all my emotions into those characters. It’s possible that I tortured those poor characters. And I liked it!
I started writing because I was intrigued by the challenge, but I continue to write because writing fixes me. It keeps my ADD brain focused because each new book is a new obstacle. And new is good for the ADD brain. And writing fixes my soul, too. When I’m overwhelmed with emotions that I don’t know how to handle, I write. I pour all the angst into my characters and story arc. I break rules all over the place in my fiction because I can and nobody in real life is damaged by my constant need for change and rebellious ways.
Writing is freedom and medicine, all in one. I write because that’s when I truly get to be me.
Social Media Links:
Auburn, thank you SO much for sharing your story! I’m so glad writing fixes you. So peeps, if you’re writer, what does it do for you? Readers, do books “fix” you? Heal you?
I love comments so much that I pick a favorite to receive my monthly AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value). Recipient is announced the first blog post of the new month.