As writers we write about our obsessions. When I gave up chocolate for over a year I wrote about it all the time. I was obsessed with chocolate and I was even more obsessed with giving it up. I felt like I was going through some kind of recovery program and in the end I was. I was recovering from an addiction to chocolate. Now I will have chocolate once in a while and I am aware of the triggers that turn that one piece of salted caramel into the whole box.
Writers end up writing about their obsessions. Things that haunt them; things they can’t forget; stories they carry in their bodies waiting to be released….After you write them (obsessions) down you can put them to good use. You have a list of things to write about. And you main obsessions have power; they are what you will come back to in your writing over and over again. And you’ll create new stories around them. So you might as well give in to them. They probably take over your life whether you want them to or not, so you ought to get them to work for you. ~ Natalie Goldberg
After reading this chapter, I wrote down a few of my obsessions. Chocolate being one of the, but one that came up from my past was my relationships with men. Not a pretty obsession but I couldn’t get away from it. I wrote stories time and time again about finding love, losing love and getting love back. I couldn’t get past the theme of how I always seemed to have or not have a man in my life and when I was with a man I wasn’t writing, and when I wasn’t with a man I would be writing about that too. It was time to reflect and write. Then one day a writer friend suggested I write about the obstacles that get in the way of writing. At first I went straight to the obvious, I work too much, I don’t have time. But the light bulb turned on and it was when I was with a guy when I didn’t write, my obstacle was myself. Now that was something to write about.
We’re always thinking we should be writing no matter what else we might be doing. It’s not fun. The life of an artist isn’t easy. You’re never free unless you are doing art. …There is a freedom in being a writer and writing. It is fulfilling your function. ~ Natalie Goldberg
Obsessions maybe a good thing. Don’t just think about your obsessions, write about them, something will show up to the page, a great story, an A-ha moment, one spark of inspiration to continue writing. You will naturally write about an obsession. Writing about writing is mine.
Until next time, keep on typing. . . .