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"The Compulsive Writer"

Writing is an obsession with me.
I think it started a year or so ago.

I always had to dig for ideas like everybody else.
but now, as soon as I finish one thing,
an idea shows up for the next.
Once it's in my mind it sticks
like a song you can't get out of your head.
I can't let go until it's done.
The neighbors see my light still on
as they go to work many mornings.

I've never been good at moderation in anything,
including music, sports, reading, love, alcohol, and on and on.
Sports and alcohol seem to have run their course,
and after reading a lot,
I now write more than I read.
After listening to a lot of music I like,
I now compose more than I listen to.

A shrink would ask about my childhood.
As a kid I knew all the sports names and statistics,
but I had other heroes, like writers and musicians.

I hope this might be a little help to another writer,
but I wouldn't try to teach anybody how to do it.
I can just tell what works for me.

Roger Miller said a lot of his song ideas
came from misunderstanding what other people say.
Thomas Edison said that Ideas come from space.
Woody Allen says he gets his ideas
from a post office box in Schenectady.
I think my ideas come from being pleasantly nuts,
but it's not a bad kind of mental illness.
I should have come down with it sooner.

I think a computer is better than a legal pad for stories.
and a piano or guitar is better for writing songs.

A lamp is good.
To me, a piano, a desk, or a guitar in soft lamplight
is hard to resist.

I've been asked if I write words or music first.
It varies, and sometimes it's both at once.

Writing every day becomes a helpful habit.
It's a nice feeling to have a finished story or song.
Hey! I did this! How the hell did that happen?

At first the hardest part is starting,
and once I get started,
the hardest part is stopping.

Compulsive writing could be a side effect of getting older.
Age can bring the realization that time doesn't grow on trees.
Get it all down now,
if you want to leave your mark.

Copyright  January 9, 2002 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved.


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