Diagnosis: Writer

I think I know what my problem is. I need to write. Not "I want to write" or "I wish I could write," but "I need to write," much as I need to eat or to sleep.

I feel anxious when I don't write. It's like going into withdrawal or having a demon to feed. The demon needs feeding and if I don't feed it, I get progressively more and more fraught.

I am jealous of colleagues who publish more because it means that they get to write more. Somehow, I don't know how, they manage to find time, make time, steal time from everything else they might otherwise be doing in order to write, while I can't. Won't. Don't know how in the midst of all of my other responsibilities to my teaching, my family, my desire to have a life other than writing.

I'm not even sure I like writing very much. I like writing my blog, but academic writing makes me anxious. And yet, it is only academic writing that satisfies the demon. It's as if blogging is junk food and only "proper" writing sustains. But it is so hard to get good ingredients, much easier to go with what's there on the shelf.

How do my colleagues do it? How do they get past all the barriers that are constantly there for me whenever I sit down to write something "real"? Maybe they don't see the barriers, I know some don't seem to from the way that they talk about their writing. It's awful having this need to write with nothing substantive to say.

Or is it that I have too much and simply don't know where to start? Alas, if I kept writing now I might figure it out, but I have to prepare for class. Which means another day without writing. Which means the demon goes hungry and I get more and more depressed.



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