Thursday, June 03, 2010

Confessions Of A Writaholic, Part 1

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Hello, my name is Sheila and I am a Writaholic.

Naturally I had sometime learnt reading and writing. My poor teachers were never happy with me, they called me lazy. I didn't agree. They demanded 500 words, they got exactly 500 words. Not a single word more! I simply didn't like to write.
When electronic gadgets became common, I didn't fancy for a computer. Why should I? I didn't want to email. I didn't want to chat. Okay, I loved my cell, I could hang on for hours and hours. But I did NOT text! Never!
Then happened December 17th, last year. On the icy roads another driver lost control over his car and skidded my car into a pretzel around a tree trunk. Later in the hospital, my first thought was: »Lucky me! My guardian angel had done a heck of a good job.« But when the doctor came and said: »Well, Mrs. Winslow, we had to hardwire your broken jawbone. Would you please use this pen and paper to tell us how you feel?«. Luck for the others they could only hear my suppressed grumbling, I was swearing like a trooper, even a trucker would have gotten red ears! »Okay, okay, come down! It's only transient. A few weeks and you'll be done!« - That's what I need to tell myself!
I could hardly await the day, the wires to be removed. But when it was done ... »God damn it! What's wrong here?« The doctors attested my larynx and vocal cords were perfectly fine. Given proof I could laugh and giggle and screech and howl, but not a single word was able to leave my mouth properly! And those geeks didn't sent me to a speech therapist, no! They considered it more logical to send me to a psychologist to treat my "post-traumatic stress disorder". You'll never guess what that f... idiot said: »Well, Mrs. Winslow, why don't you keep a diary, where you note all your feelings and dreams and fears?« - No comment!
First, I considered writing just like what it was: a sadistic punishment. My notes were only some lame catchwords. My poor therapist was not happy with me, he called me lazy.
Then, after some days, writing became something like a daily habit. I didn't like it, but it didn't disturb me anymore.
Some more days passed and things were getting a little strange. You know, I'm a sportsman. Once a week I meet my girls for volleyball and every day I go for a run. Are you familiar with the phenomenon that you have to run every day to get that rush and if you don't something is missing? Well, I've only came across this sensation with my running. Until now! On some days I felt kind of restless, felt like I had forgotten or missed or lost something. Everything I tried, even running, nothing helped. You can imagine, I found myself quite surprised, when I finally got the connection, that of all things writing was not only solution, but salvation. Doodling just felt good and relaxing, calmed me down, eased my pain.
Oh, and by the way, my voice had come back. I can't exactly tell, when and how, it simply did. My therapist was quite happy, but I'm not sure, if with me or more with his own brilliant therapy methods. With mission accomplished our sessions ended. Maybe I better should have talked about my lately occurred habits, but I didn't. True, my voice was back, but strangely I preferred the written words. Speaking meant for me returning back to my own plain voice. The voice I've known now for almost three decades. Familiar, ordinary, boring. While in the meantime I'd made a completely new experience. With writing I was able to modulate my voice, could make it louder, quieter, faster, slower, higher, deeper. I could give more or less intensity in articulation, accentuation or intonation. Granted, you could do that in real life, too, but be honest, doing this is only appropriate for a movie, stage or voice actor! I could do even more and nobody considered it stupid or silly or ridiculous. Within my written world I could be whoever, wherever, whenever I wanted to be. Before you came up with the clever idea of schizophrenia ... No! I've never heard other voices, there was always just me and myself. All the different parts of my personality became alive on paper.
Paper. It had to be on paper. And written. By Hand. Let me tell you why:
  1. Speed. My typing skills are about on the same level like the spelling ability of a first-grader. In plain language, my two forefingers pretend to be eagles playing hunt and peck with the letters on the keyboard. It would take me ages to type a single paragraph!
  2. Flexibility. A PC meant being stuck on one place. Even with a laptop, you are dependent on sockets or battery life. Literally, I wanted to write whenever and wherever I was, and as long as I wanted!
  3. Style and fashion. My first catchwords were written on a simple loose piece of paper. On demand of my therapist I had to buy a copybook, to keep my notes at one place, after all. Then I discovered those books made of fine paper and beautifully designed covers. I instantly fell in love with one book, that became my first journal. It simply looks good on me!
  4. And finally romance and exclusivity. Sitting in a café, my journal in front of me, having a fountain pen in my hand, sipping on a steaming cup of coffee and muse about my thoughts, believe it or not, that's simply wonderful. It gives me that feeling to belong into the circle of those famous writers of ancient times. That's pure romance.
Style here, romance there. Truth was, I couldn't live anymore without feeling a pen in my fingers. My once odious habit had become mad obsession. And I had draw quite some consequences: My daily live had changed completely!

To be continued...

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