The Parasite of Writing

Now this is going to sound strange, and I’m very, very aware of it, but let me get it off my chest. I sometimes feel that comparing writing to a child is a little too kind of an analogy. All published writers, those making money from it, always say how its a little piece of their soul bounding into life and shooting off into a million different directions. And it is. They’re right. But what about all the unpublished writers?

I sometimes feel like the writing is more a parasite, as if its something that has infiltrated my body, my mind and my soul and is consuming more of me every day. Sure, some days I wake up with a blank mind that’s like, “Hey, chill out! You’ve earned it!” But most days I wake up with all these stories in my head, all these characters talking, and they all want out. Given that I have not (as of yet) earned any money from writing, it proves itself rather unwelcome at certain points in my life. For example:

It’s the final year of the undergraduate degree. Working 2.5 days a week. Being a trainee-teacher for an EFL class 1 night a week. Attending class 3 days a week. Working in an after-hours school 2 days a week. Creating lesson plans anytime I can. Sleeping whenever I can. And bam: dissertation. Dissertation slips in, has to slip in, has to fit in somewhere. There isn’t any time. There isn’t any time! But wait one more second, there’s Bryn. There’s Bryn, the main character of my recently edited mss, standing there, smiling, and waiting for me to tell her story. Where does everything fit? Where does it all fit?!


Well, luckily for me, I figured it out. I even got to sleep a few hours every night! But that is just one example of a period in which the ‘writing parasite’ struck at a most inappropriate time. Most inappropriate indeed!

I feel, sometimes, that I could be a lot more successful if the parasite would go away. Like, have a real job instead of working at a restaurant (again, ugh!). I feel, sometimes, like I’d be a lot more connected to reality if the parasite would go away.

But then I realize, life would be a lot more boring as well.

Then I realize, though the parasite’s timing sucks, I’m glad I’ve got it. That bug, under my skin, makes me see things that aren’t there and let’s me live in places that aren’t there. In fact, though it’s timing could be better, I wouldn’t give the damned thing up.

Not even when I haven’t slept more than 4 hours a night for weeks on end.

Foolish, foolish girl.

2 thoughts on “The Parasite of Writing

  1. Hello! 🙂
    I could not have put it better myself! For me it’s when I’m at the day job and I cant easily make a few notes so I dont forget what is working its way through my mind!
    Peter 🙂

    • I hate that… especially since in my exceptionally glamorous job as a waitress I’m always writing things down, so even when I do manage to get a note jotted down I can never hold onto it. It’s horrible knowing later than you had a thought that was so brilliant it slipped right out of your head… :S By the way, I completely feel obsessed with numbers lately. Its weird the way these things seem to mean so much, huh?

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