Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Passionate Obsessions by Temple Hogan

I remember saying to my husband as I was finishing my last book, the third in my Scottish Love Songs series, entitled THE LAIRD'S DAUGHTER for Replendence Publishing, the tenth in my last contract with them that I'd be done with writing for awhile and could concentrate on other things in life.  I even uttered the words that I was probably done with writing for a long time, maybe forever.  My wise husband responded that I'd probably keep doing it since I liked writing so much.

Burnt out and tired, I hooted with laughter.  He didn't know how serious I was.  My resolve lasted three days and the whole time I was thinking about an old manuscript that I'd especially liked, wondering how I could change the plot, the characters or whatever to make it fit this market or that.  I was back at it.  I hadn't redecorated my house, I hadn't even cleaned the kitchen cupboards or any of the other things on my get-it-done-or-else list, I hadn't taken up a new excerside regimen or joined any new clubs.  I was still in my old groove, write, write, write, read myself to sleep at night and more writing.  I even skipped my paint class which is another passion of mine.  That's when I realized that my husband was right and he was right because he knew me so well.  But that's another story.

I sat down and without having my fingers on a keyboard, I started thinking what I was about.  I've always known that I had certain quirks within my personality that were shared with most all of my writer friends.  We're surely obsessive compulsive, able to shut out the rest of the world and create our own.  Not because we don't like the real world, in fact we need the stimuli of our real world to build a realistic other world.  No, something in our brain impels us to make the world the way we want.  I wonder if this is a sample of being an extreme control freak.

In a world we create, we get to control everything, speech, actions, emotions, settings, motives, even the weather.  Can you imagine the addictive power of that?  It's heady stuff.  And you know what, I don't know how to change its hold on me.  Do I even want to?  When God made me, did he intend me to be a writer?  The memory of my mother reading THE WIZARD OF OZ stays with me to this day.  I was mesmerized.  I still am with good stories and good writing.  I hear other writers talk about their TBR piles of book.  When I first learned I wasn't alone, that others had stacks of books surroundingthem, I was relieved.  I thought I was suffering the beginning of a real hoarder's problem.

Whatever my obsessions, I've decided to stop apologizing for them.  My sweet husband understands and accepts me.  My editors say they like my work.  Now and then I get a great review and readers buy my books.  A lot of people have obsessions, and I figure if they make a person happy, I don't think they should worry about it..  Obsessions can be very satisfying!

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