Please welcome Densie Webb as our guest today (“Not Denise: I think my mom had a moment of dyslexia…”). Densie has been a nonfiction writer/editor, mainly about health and nutrition, for her entire career. She has written for The New York Times, Parade, been a columnist for Prevention, Family Circle and now writes for industry and trade organizations. She added fiction to the mix about six years ago and never looked back. She is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, SheWrites, the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Romance Writers of America. She’s a music lover, walker (not of the dead variety), dreamer, warm-weather enthusiast, and has now acquired all of the usual writer quirks, including the uncontrollable urge to write about people and things that live only in her head. Her first novel is You’ll Be Thinking of Me; she is currently working on novels two and three.
I’m fascinated by the things that make us writers keep writing, even when the odds are not in our favor that we’ll finish a book, get an agent, get published, accumulate readers and be able to cobble together a writing career.
Writing as Compulsion
My son has Tourette’s Syndrome. Diagnosed when he was six, I’ve seen the condition and its sometimes bizarre manifestations wax and wane over the years. I can’t be in his skin, feel what he feels, but he’s tried to explain it to me. It’s a torturous itch that must be scratched. The urge, the reflex, the compulsion, is the result of a flood of neurotransmitters in the brain.
Sometimes, with conscious effort, it can be suppressed, kept in check for short periods. But then it simply has to be released and the results can be explosive, as the tics take over and demand to run their course. Over time, the tics change. Sometimes they’re subtle, an extra blink or two of the eye, a random shoulder shrug. But other times they’re dramatic—strange, almost violent elbow or chin jerks, an explosion of eye blinks, a series of mouse-like vocal squeaks, a grimace that’s painful to the Touretter and unsettling to those who witness it. And then, for a brief period of time, there is relief.
Where am I going with this and what does this have to do with writing? [Read more…]