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I’ve Already Done One Today

I’m really only good at three things in life.

Two of these are illegal to charge money for outside of the great state of Nevada. So I try to earn my living by writing. I’ve been doing this more or less for the last seven years. It’s not always interesting writing, I’ll grant you. In fact, sometimes it’s mind-numbingly boring. But it beats having to work for a living, sit in a meeting, sell a product, or have an actual skill set. It’s still writing and, like pizza and sex, even when it’s not great, it’s still pretty good.

The experience, I mean. Not the end result.

Oof. Yeah, there’s some bad writing out there, no doubt.

Anyway. If you’re a writer, you tend to write all the time. I write every day. Usually for work, occasionally for the blog, often on a novel, screenplay, poem, script, television concept, bit of witty dialogue, or idea for a puppet show. When I don’t write, I start to get twitchy. Really twitchy. Glancing-around-the-room-furtively, I-know-I-should-be-doing something-but-I-don’t-know-what, knee-bouncing twitchy.

Which leads me to my question: do people in other professions have this same compulsion? Do surgeons get weird when they haven’t cut someone open in awhile? Do guitarists find themselves fingering arpeggios on their mousepad without realizing it? Will accountants spend their off hours tabulating sums?

Or do I just have a compulsive personality? Is writing, like sex, alcohol, and distance running, just another one of my addictions? Will there every come a day when I can sit quietly in a room by myself without worrying if that last line of dialogue came out quite right, if that character is behaving consistently, if the joke landed?

Part of me hopes not. Part of me doesn’t really mind staying awake until two in the morning just because an idea’s grabbed me by the lapels and thrown me toward the laptop.

But part of me just wants to have a beer and watch the game without the voices of my characters talking to me.

And part of me really wishes it were legal to charge for those other two things. They’re great stress relievers.

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