Monday Motivational: Writing as Obsession

When you step back and think about all the work involved in creating a three hundred page book, from thin air we build characters, worlds, and the interactions that bring them all to life, one begins to realize there has to be a degree of obsessiveness in each of us. It's what drives us every day to the key board, note pad, or typewriter.

But sometimes we let that obsession rule our lives.

A comment made by Christopher Matson in his Fridays 5 interview got me to thinking about the obsessive nature of writers, artists, and athletes, anyone really who works in the public eye who creates or performs.

"There is, after all a delicate balance between dedication and obsession. Isn’t there?"
-Christopher Matson..

Thomas, one of my regular visitors, a writer himself, responded with a comment that quoted Isaac Asimov.

Someone once told Isaac Asimov it must take enormous discipline to sit at the typewriter for long periods of time. To which he responded (paraphrased) "Nonsense. If I had any discipline, I would move away from the typewriter once in a while."

This from the same writer who once said: "I write for the same reason I breathe - because if I didn't I would die."

Sort of a ying and yang look at the two faces of a writer. The compulsion needed to create the work, balanced with the understanding that one must always be disciplined enough to step away from the keyboard.

There are no easy answers, no real cure, if you will, for the writers gift (curse). I use curse in the same context as gift because it is a gift that comes with its own set of problems. Is it the desire for fame and riches that push us onward, like compulsion that drives the lottery ticket buyer to purchase the same number every week, in the hope of one day hitting it big.

Are we kidding ourselves?

What do you think?

What drives you to the keyboard every day?


  1. I'd say what drives me to the keyboard is the imagination. I love diving into a fictional world and creating something. It's my crafty and artistic side.

    1. So the imagination serves as the gateway drug to the obsession? Just kidding, thanks for stopping by.