It’s funny because it’s true. If you agree it’s because you know.
If we were to talk about the elephant on the page, what color would it be? The funny truth so succinctly portrayed is that writing is a consuming obsession.
The man in the picture may have at least two obsessions, two powerful habits that impact his life and perhaps those around him, but why is it that only one of them is generally acknowledged as a bad habit? Only one of his habits has a tried and true twelve-step program that has been adapted and adopted by other quitters of other bad habits and depravities. Yes, he can find support and counseling for his addiction to alcohol and even his compulsive gambling. But his compulsive writing? All bets are off.
His inclination, (he might say destiny) is to seek other writers, (some might say enablers). Unlike the group he met with over his other addiction, this group is not at all alarmed for him when he admits to voices in his head. “Write on!” they say. They are not concerned when he admits to not attending fully to his day job, the pay job, because of his preoccupation with writing. They nod and smile knowingly when he talks about a recent all-nighter when he wrote pages and pages of gibberish. “There’s some gold in there,” they encourage. “Glean it, spend another night or any stolen time and revise it. Write on!” They all joke about their wild antics, writing on napkins in restaurants, about looking as if they are taking notes in meetings when really they are drafting a novella that just came to them. They all know first hand that writing is a distraction to the lives they are expected to live. They know that it is highly unlikely that writing will ever improve their finances. Yet they applaud our pictured writer when he admits he’s thinking of leaving his day job (the pay job) so that he can attend more fully to his writing addiction. “Yes! Go for it! Write on!”
I ask you, dear Writers, why are writers not taken in hand by their loved ones and committed as other addicts might be, for their own good? I imagine you’ll tell me something about discovery versus recovery, but please do tell me.