Self Doubt just asked: Does this post need a trigger warning?
I think it might — so consider yourself warned.
Binging anything is problematic, and somewhere, at some stage in life, there’s a pain point that needs to be dealt with — most likely with professional help.
But today I’m talking about a rather different form of excess, a writing habit hygiene — specifically, binge writing. With only a mild degree of shame (which is quickly being replaced with some radical pride), I’m dragging it out of the darkness and into the light for inspection, assessment and some good old fashioned forgiveness.
My guilty little secret got uncomfortably and forcibly revealed while working full time as a writer when I was also simultaneously running my writing business on the side. It was hard, but not for obvious reasons. It wasn’t to do with workload — I’m pretty sure I’m a competent writer, and I can cope with having a lot on my plate: handling complete chaos with aplomb is one of my top 3 life skills.
I know I can do a lot and that’s why I take more on. I recently (re)wrote a 5000 word article on the future of supply chains in a few days flat. It was extremely technical and the process to get there was laborious, soul destroying and completely exhausting. But I got there.
Why wasn’t it a smooth process?
Well, dear readers, it’s because my ability to write is an unpredictable beast. It is not consistent, I don’t know where it lives and I have no idea how to coax it into action.
I am what one might call a closet binge writer, much to the frustration of my colleagues.
I can’t write on demand. I can’t keep up a consistent output of well-written work. Show me someone who can and I might hazard a guess that they are a cyborg powered by some kind of AI, or at least in possession of some kind of advanced cognitive ability way beyond my grasp.
Even if I could write on demand, with zero mental breakdowns in the process, I’m fairly sure it would bore me senseless and I’d move on, seeking the thrill elsewhere. Probably training to be a base jumper…