If you Google the above, you’ll get a slew of articles and posts about how writers suffer from various forms of obsessive compulsive disorder. I know I have my own tendencies, I can thank my years in fine dining for that – put this exactly here, move that slightly to the left, straighten it, remove the clutter, organize! This doesn’t disrupt my daily life, so I suppose it just means I like things a certain way.
And then there’s the writer side – reorganize your desk, yet again, remove the clutter around said desk (which is really just procrastination) oh, and of course, get that story out of your head! Whenever and wherever.
I’m trying to be a screenwriter. I mean, I am a screenwriter, but I’m trying to make a profession out of it, so you can imagine the annoyance at having a completely unrelated story taking over your life. I can’t seem to focus on any other story beyond the one I’m working on now, and it’s bloody fan fiction. ((exasperated groan))
I’m wondering how many of my fellow writers out in the ‘verse have this problem?
I don’t know how it happened. I posted a writing prompt of concept art from the video game series Dragon Age a long time ago, and after writing a small chapter, 6,500 words, it slowly began to consume me. I was struggling with my own work at the time, I remember, and I just wanted to write something. It became a refuge from my unsatisfying server job, but then I found that I enjoyed thinking up scenes that were unseen in the game or expanding on conversations, etc.
When I write a screenplay, I agonize over every detail, every word, and I found with the fanfic that I could just write – whatever I wanted, without worry, without much forethought or editing. It was so freeing.* What I’ve posted so far sits at about 68,000 words. Are you kidding me?! I think this is where the writer’s OCD comes in. After so much time and energy invested, I have to finish it.
The problem is two-fold. 1) This has taken away from the writing I want to do for my livelihood, but then again, any writing is good, right?! 2) Writing this story has opened up more possibilities, and now I want to explore those story lines. When will it end?!
I feel like I should be asking for help, and yet, I am loving every moment. I keep thinking if I write one more chapter, or finish a particular story line the OCD will subside, but it just seems to be getting worse. I think another part of the problem is that at my old job I was alone a lot, without much to do, so I could escape, now there are too many people around. The routine I had set has been disrupted and needs a new avenue to find its way.
So I guess I’m looking for advice or validation. 😉
If you suffer from a similar predicament, let’s commiserate!
*Just type Dragon Age or fanfic into my search bar to see what I’m talking about.