Monday, May 30, 2011

It's Been Awhile...

The last six months, I’ve been lost in a haze of addiction.

I admire people who can Twitter, Facebook, Blog, pursue their profession, and do all the necessary marketing to create their ‘platform.’ To those who can juggle it all, I congratulate you. I do not see how you do it. I had no idea when I pulled that old manuscript out of the chest of drawers what exactly I was about to get myself into. Thoughts of publishing and all that might include never entered my mind. Now, eighteen months later, I’m learning about ‘platform building’—a concept that is a bit unnerving to a very private person who has never been compelled to express her thoughts to the world.  I began to realize there is only one thing that would drive an introvert like me to put herself out there willingly—Addiction. 

Hello, my name is S. J.  I’m a wordaholic.

It started out as nothing more than an exercise, pulling that manuscript out and writing again. Before I realized it, something had clicked between my brain and my fingertips. It was the completion of a circuit that I had forgotten was there. Characters and scenes dropped into my brain and flowed so rapidly from my fingertips onto my laptop screen it was frightening—and amazingly pleasurable. It was like opening up a vein, the words flowed through me like a drug. 

I’ve read about the science of addiction, how once the pleasure center of the brain is stimulated by a particular activity it becomes impossible to control the desire to repeat the activity. In the last year, words have become my drug. Try as I might to set them aside and focus on more productive work, it is a struggle to do so. My only saving grace is that my income generating work is conducive to quiet contemplation, allowing me to lose myself in the movie playing in my head. These characters and stories demand my attention, bombarding me with their world. They make it impossible to do anything else until I give in and let it flow from my fingertips into a document. My focus narrows to such a point that I can only think of writing, the monkey on my back. 

So, here I am, building a platform…