Rest and Recreation in this Beach House, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines
Can writing become an obsession? The following activities can be habit forming: watching television, whether soap opera or ball games, drinking alcohol, illicit drug use, viewing pornography, smoking, gambling or sex. When people lose control of these activities and they become controlled by the activities, they can be addicted. For some people, writing can also be a habit-forming activity, and it may similarly affect their lives.
I have been following several outstanding ViewsHound writers and contributors. I have read many of their wonderful articles which reflect their approach to their craft. Based on the number, frequency and content of their articles and responses to comments, plus their profiles and other activities, I can infer that several of them have a compulsive writing disorder, if not, are in a specific writing obsessive stage.
I can also deduce that their writing dedication is not primarily geared to win the awards and recognition; it is a secondary objective which adds luster to their undertakings. Their main goal is the achievement to create their work and have it published, and the accompanying pride, sense of accomplishment and joy to share their wealth of ideas.
For several ViewsHound contributors who are unemployed, underemployed, retired or simply bored, writing is an exciting outlet and can be very therapeutic. It is an excellent way to use their free time and contribute to society. Many of the brilliant ones are able to write naturally and easily, and encounter few problems to build their thoughts into words. But for many average writers including me, it is arduous work, but a very rewarding and enjoyable activity.
I am retired and have plenty free time on my hands. I have portrayed my unassuming writer status when I wrote my article on having an inferiority complex when writing for ViewsHound. I did not expect to receive numerous insightful responses and comments. They were generally positive and encouraging that they heightened my ego. It has inspired me to continue to be a part of the regular contributors to the ViewsHound community.
I know why writing can be very life consuming. I am a devoted writer and I cannot seem to fulfill my unquenchable writing desires. I have been diligently writing for my blog sites for three years, and today my articles are also featured on other sites. There was a time when I was continuously blogging for the first two years, and then I started to struggle to create new articles.
I ran out of ideas to write, and was considering ending my writing career. However, the strong urge to create was still in me. My writing compulsion could not stop and make me quit what I have started. It also helped that my readers provided their feedbacks and suggestions. They encouraged and gave me ideas to continue my favorite pastime.
I was wrong to think of stopping, and I realized there are more than enough topics in the world to write about, in fact there is an infinite choice of topics. One merely needs to have an idea and build around a captivating subject to produce a creative work. Moreover, I had a constant need to feed the habit of creating my own composition, and have it published. With the addition of other sites where I share my work, I am now more emboldened to be ambitious with my writing efforts.
I admit I have a writing compulsion and I have to deal with it. If I leave it unchecked, I might end up spending all my time in front of my computer, and neglect my other activities. Recently, I used up so much of my free time thinking of ideas for what to write. There have been periods when my mind wandered, thinking about writing, instead of focusing on my driving, the church services, or the television. I come up with subjects on which I have never written or published. Before I forget them, I write down notes, and update the list as more ideas come to mind.
Most of my articles are from my life experiences, travels, relationship, or social interactions. Oftentimes I wake up in bed at night, and have a writing pad handy. Sometimes during long drives, ideas regarding my life experiences would just flash back on my mind. There have been instances when I read an article on ViewsHound or the Internet, and a subject relating to the article comes to mind. An example is the recent ViewsHound article about what the author learned after 15 years of marriage. I could relate to the writer because I have been married for 54 years, and this created an idea for a topic.
I've been choosing creative writing as a core of my ideas, and lately I've had several posts published on the same topic. This time I wanted to discuss the issue of writing compulsion. To ease my writing compulsion, I take several steps during every day that I write. I take short hourly breaks from my PC to rest my mind, eyes and body.
These small activities relieve me from the stress and strain of writing. Some might be small chores we'd rather avoid, but for the home-based writer, I've found them necessary. It clears up my mind and allows me to come up with new ideas to add, delete or fix on my work. If necessary, the break allows me to ponder whether to do more research. Doing short physical exercises help keep a sound mind and a sound body.
Am I in an advanced stage of my writing addiction? Not yet, although at this latter time of the year, I have tallied and counted my articles. As of early December 2011, I have produced hundreds of entries on my blogs, ViewsHound, and other new sites where I've been featured. I know I have done a lot of writing for a retiree, but it's my favorite pastime. I feel I am near the burn-out stage, and it would be suitable to take a different form of break.
The big break is coming soon; we've been in northern California since late spring of this year. After spending the holidays here with our children and their families, in January my wife and I will start our annual snow birding in our beach resort in Marinduque, Philippines. We prefer to avoid the winter chill here, which is uncomfortable for my aching muscles and aging years.
The tropical climate of the Philippines and the sea breezes of the Chateau Du Mer beach resort will be a welcome change from the rainy, foggy and cold days of northern California. Moreover, the pace of life is slower, and there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy including spending time in the yard and the garden. I will be able to personally tend to my resort and guests, meet up with friends and relatives, and spend endless hours walking by the seaside.
It will not be a total break from my writing activities, but a break from the cold and gloomy winter weather. By January and February, the weather is perfect in the Philippines, where the evenings are cool; days are warm, and not very hot, humid and sticky. All of the plants and trees are thriving in stark contrast to the leafless trees in California. Many of my tropical plants should be blooming. My readers should see new pictures of my tropical paradise in my future postings. See video below.
I will be writing, though in a different setting. I have my own personal computer in Marinduque, although the unpredictably slow internet connection may impede my posting productivity. I ask for my readers' patience, you will continue to see and read my work. With the fresh start in the tropics, I should be able to produce numerous articles, and internet permitting, publish as much work as possible.
I am also glad to announce that with my writing activity, I have encouraged and made positive influences on two of my Facebook friends, Vic Vizarra and Frank Cabunoc. They have decided to showcase their hidden talents for writing and poetry for the enjoyment of the ViewsHound readers. I am definitely proud of their accomplishments. I hope they will share my compulsive writing enthusiasm and be able to send more of their works.
Can your writing activities lead to writing obsession? In my opinion, it is possible, especially if you are someone with a creative personality. Watch out for the signs of excessive writing compulsion. If the signs are there, take a break. Having too much of anything can be bad, harmful and can ruin your life.
Planning to Retire Soon!
If you are planning to retire in the Philippines soon, I suggest you visit several excellent websites on pro's and cons of retiring in the Philippines. However if you want to retire in the provinces, where life is simple, standard of living cheaper, less traffic congestion and pollution, availability of fresh seafood and vegetables compared to the big cities, my island province is the place for you! If this is your first time in my site, welcome. Please do not forget to read the latest national and international news in the right side bar of this blog. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on the infringement of your copyrights. The photo above is the front yard of Chateau Du Mer-Our Retirement Home in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines