When you type ‘define: disability’ in Google (Yes, I know, now a days Google has become a verb…anyhoo, back to the point…) it throws this in your face very proudly: disability is a “physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities”.
Then search ‘define: writer’ and you get two definitions:
A person who has written a particular text.
A person who writes books, stories, or articles as a job or regular occupation.
Now you must be thinking why on earth am I mentioning definition of very mundane words? Well, the reason being is, earlier today, I read a particular post by Mired in Mundanity on the reasons why one ‘might be a writer’. If you haven’t already read that post, then you might like to take a moment and do so. I promise you will enjoy it and get a few laughs out of it. It offers a very candid peek at a writer’s life, and if I may say so, nails it on the head. It’s gives you a great little glimpse into this obscure world before you follow me along the path I’m about to take you on.
Go on, take a moment to read it, and then float back into my post.
Did you enjoy it? Did it make you laugh or nod at any of those points? I bet you did. I know I did, but then again I am a writer who is inflicted with almost all those ‘reasons’. I use the word inflicted because after reading that post, a sudden thought barged into my mind like a rude little intruder and left me thinking “Writing is a disability!”.
I was almost going to add my new-found enlightenment on the tail-end of my comment to that post but I thought I had better explain what I mean, and couldn’t’ possibly hijack Mired by Mundanity’s comment section to explain it. So here it is…
Out of the 20 reasons presented, I agreed with 16 of them, the ones I didn’t agree with were 11, 15, 17, 18. Especially 17 – only because I am slightly obsessive compulsive. I wouldn’t dare dream of de-facing a book by writing upon it with my scribble handwriting. In fact, such is my obsession that when I read a book, I don’t ever dog-tag it unless I absolutely cannot find another bookmark, even if it is a leaf, a twig, anything to wedge between the pages. I also don’t ever fold the book out completely so as not to break the spine. Most books that I bought first hand still look new even though I have read them multiple times for this particular reason. Yikes…I need help!
GEEZ, I keep getting derailed…back to the point!
So why do I suddenly, as of today, think that writing is a ‘disability’? Because – it gets in the way! ( I say that nicely)
As a writer I fear my “movements, senses, or activities” are all slaves to this addiction, this disability to control the urge to write. So dire is the situation that I must have on hand paper and functioning ‘writing’ pen, 24/7, and I mean 24/7 – like keeping multiple of them on your nightstand even when all you plan to do is sleep kinda 24/7.
Other times the disability is so bad that my concentration when it comes to anything else other than the story in my head is a doomed cause. It may as well throw in the white towel, give up, go home and sulk in a corner all forgotten. I find when I’m in a writing mood, all else is immediately pushed back: food, sleep, TV, radio, air, breaks, water – all these things are trivial! On a really good writing day, all I maybe able to do is feed myself breakfast and then obsess over the writing, redrafting, thinking, planning – all revolving around words. Unable to think of anything else, or capable of doing any chores. That when I look up, the sky would be devoid of Sun to my utter surprise and darkness would be spreading. I lose hours. Hours!
If this is not a mental disability of sorts, then I don’t know what else it could be. Share your thoughts. How do you feel about being a ‘writer’?