I encountered this peculiar condition on another forum that I frequent, April Fools. Hypergraphia is the compulsive need to write…basically. I find this not only fascinating, but extraordinary.
I don’t think I have this, even though I am pretty obcessive-compulsive about writing. I mean, I pretty much write all the time whether it’s in my head (when writing is not possible or appropriate) or on paper. I am always making notes, constantly, so I won’t forget anything. Hey, I’m 31, and my memory is starting to slip. I also spend alot of time thinking about plots, plot bunnies, directions of my stories, dialogue, and visuals. If I were to put a timeframe on it, I’d say that I spend about 90% of my waking hours doing something related to writing.
And then there’s the actual writing itself. Well, I used to write each and every day, whether I wanted to or not. This went on from November 2005 (NanoWriMo) up till I finished the first draft of Pirouette on Dec. 27, 2006. Yes, I do remember that, as it was a milestone. Pirouette, by the way, weighed in at a whopping 399, 915 words. Less than 100 words shy of 400k. ‘Scuse me while I faint.
Anyhoo, I’d gotten into this rhythm and routine so much that when I decided to take 2 weeks off writing, I was at total lose ends. I had no idea what to do with myself. I ended up working on something else (Lord knows I can’t even recall what it was now…) and thought alot about the edits, rewrite, and all that other stuff that I think about.
So now I’m not writing daily. I’m editing, but even that’s not daily. I started Requiem in Blue for the sole purpose of not going nuts during this period. Why? Because I literally feel twitchy when I haven’t written. It’s like an out-of-sorts, Twilight Zone kind of feeling. And the words are threatening to drown me. They bleed into my life, as thoughts, character voices, etc, and even into my dreams. Yeah. So to relieve that…feeling…I write new words. Not editing. New words. First draft stuff. Requiem is not only a project just for that, but it’s experimental in that I am not pursuing publication with it. Well, I tell myself that. I might eventually, if it flies. Anyhoo, that’s the deal.
Some people have mentioned that it sucks to take something like creativity and prolific writing and apply a psychological label to it. To me, it demystifies it — writing is an artform, a gift, and thus to me is meant to be mysterious. Who knows where my ideas come from? Who knows what cool new plot twist I’ll dream up tomorrow? Who knows where Alisia came from, or Lucien, or my truly evil characters like the Bossman? Is it merely a compulsion, like gambling, or porn, or is it more mystical?
I take mystical any day of the week. It might sound bizarre, but I almost feel special. Like God picked me (among others) to impart my words, my wisdom, my creation to the world, something so rare and so pure that I can’t imagine trying to live without it. Actually, I would prolly go truly insane. Because writing does something, nurtures me, in ways I can’t comprehend. It brings me back to center. It reminds me to be humble, that life is not a sum collection of events, but a journey — no matter what the destination. Writing itself is a journey in that in every step, you put your heart and soul into it, and you keep walking, walking, towards that elusive thing — publication, a perfect final draft, etc– knowing full well that you may never make it there, but you believe with everything in your being that you will make it there. You will make this happen. It’s really the only way to fly.
So. I might have hypergraphia. I might not. But you know what? Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.
That that, Sigmund Freud.