Monday, November 28, 2011

Gratitude for My Writing Addiction

Hi, my name is Shon Bacon, and I'm addicted to writing. It's been about 29 years since I picked up a pen and thought, I think I would like to write stories for people to read.

Since then, I have found it quite difficult to stop. I don't want to stop. I can't stop. My blood is the ink to which I write life stories. My writing courses through my veins.

There have been several times when I tried to stop cold turkey, but I just couldn't. I could last a few days, even a week; one time, I lasted a whole month; however, words continued to churn in my brain and meld into sentences that grew into paragraphs that birthed stories.

I will admit, wholeheartedly, that in the teen years of my writing addiction, my work sucked. I loved baseball and I loved love, so as I teenager, I wrote a lot of suck-ass screenplays about chicks who somehow became owners of baseball teams and fell in love with the star player.

As I grew, my writing did, too, but not by leaps and bounds. My twenties found me writing stories, once again, about women and love, but I focused on the tangled relationships that women went through with their mates. At the time, all I really knew was I loved words and I loved telling stories; I had to get the words out. I needed my next story fix, and seeing my word count grow gave me a rush that could not be explained.

My stories didn't necessarily suck in my twenties, but there was something missing in them. That something--me.

As I approached my thirties, a strange thing happened to me. I began thinking about every nuance of my life. I truly began to feel and to grieve things in my life that I had just "dealt" with because I really didn't know about the true process of grieving, of dealing. Just as important as this, I also began to apply what I was learning about myself to what I saw and experienced with other people and're all going through a lot of the same crap. Finding that common ground made me want to write about more than just relationships. I wanted to write about the ugly, confusing, painful things that go on in life; I wanted to share my pain and ultimate triumphs on paper through fiction so that others could read, relate, and commune with me.

My need to write rushed over my psyche like a brush fire. Not only did my need to write and write differently grow, but my writing grew craftwise as well when I entered an MFA program that taught me the fundamentals of writing, both fiction and poetry, and helped me to develop the way that I wrote. I learned to love first and foremost the "word," how a word sounds and how it can connect beautifully with other words to not only say what you want them to say but also to resonate sounds and rhythms and meanings in ways that move the reader.

My fingers have never ached so much, the tendinitis in my wrists has never throbbed so much as it does now, now that I am continuing to still grow into who I am truly meant to be as a writer. I realize that ultimately, one should try to give up their addictions, and believe me, in this journey, I've suffered lofty highs and devastating lows, but I can't give up writing. I couldn't. After my actual physical presence, my writing has been an integral part of my connection with myself, with others, and with the world I live in.

Without those people who fostered in me the love of reading, of crafting stories, of connecting with others through words I use to concoct my stories, I would not be in this position where I could say Sum, ergo scribo: I am; therefore, I write. Because I exist, there are stories to be told, and I'm grateful for the addiction that allows me to keep writing the stories that only I can write.

Shon Bacon is an author, doctoral candidate, editor, and educator. She has published both creatively and academically. Shon also interviews women writers on her popular blog ChickLitGurrl: high on LATTES & WRITING. You can learn more about Shon's writings at her official website, and you can get information about her editorial services at CLG Entertainment. Currently, Shon is busy editing, writing, and pursuing her Ph.D. in Technical Communication and Rhetoric at Texas Tech University.

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  1. (Stands in front of audience) My name is Martin, and I have a writing problem. (applause and cheers).

    Blogging brings us writerholics together. Long may it continue.

  2. Beautifully said. I am grateful for all writers' addiction to writing. Because of it, we have books and stories, lyrics and poems. I can't imagine my own life or our culture without it.

  3. Every once in a while, it's good to admit your problems, :-) Even better to work on that problem.

  4. Kudos to you Shon, for figuring out what you were all about at such a tender age ... I'm a little past that, and I'm still working it out ... all though I've been employing the more labor-intensive process of rejecting all things I'm not, first.

  5. What a wonderful addiction to have!

  6. Shon, so nicely put and encompasses so much of what we all feel about writing. Thanks you.

    Martin, I burst out laughing when I read your comment.

  7. I share the same addiction. I don't think there's a cure.

    Morgan Mandel

  8. I've always felt that if your greatest weakness is also your greatest strength, you were doing all right in the world. This post was well worth more than 140, Shon!


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