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The OCD Writer, Revisited

The Rich Writer: The OCD Writer, Revisited

The Rich Writer

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The OCD Writer, Revisited

I’ve written before about the ease with which a writer can drift into obsessive-compulsive behavior. And I have to admit: I’ve succumbed.

Unlike earlier bouts of obsession, when I fought the evil temptations of compulsive email checking (Did anyone respond to my submission yet? How about now? Or now?) and mailbox haunting, I like to think that my current state of…ahem…hyperfocus has been not entirely a bad thing. Maybe even a little bit of a good thing, because I’ve been obsessed with WRITING.

I’ve been rewriting this YA paranormal since last July. I’m usually a speedy writer, especially after I’ve cranked out a first draft, so it’s been especially difficult to take six pickin’ months on a rewrite—and especially wonderful when, a few weeks ago, everything started to fall together. By last Friday, I was so close to the end I could taste it. Seriously. I woke up at 4:30 in the morning to crank out two chapters before I had to head to an all-day meeting.

Obsessive? Okay, maybe a little.

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On Saturday, I finished. My husband and first reader cranked through 300 pages of manuscript to give me feedback, inspired, no doubt, by the hope that I would stop asking if he liked it. And yesterday, I began making all the tweaks inspired by our discussion. And I’m having trouble stopping. I want to finish, and I’m so close, so excited to be so close, that I can hardly stand to put my manuscript down!

Obsessive writing: it’s not sustainable over the long run, but sometimes, you just have to go with your instincts, and my instincts say WRITE!

Happy writing, friends! May you all be bitten with the bug and suffer a bit of writerly OCD this week!

:) Cheryl

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At January 14, 2011 at 7:51 AM , Blogger Julie Hedlund said...

What an awesome hubby! AND, when you get those frenzied times where you can't stop writing you better not. Too often it's the other way around. So congratulations!

At January 14, 2011 at 3:45 PM , Blogger Cheryl Reif said...

I know, he's a keeper, isn't he? Thanks for the congrats. I *just* finished incorporating his comments today. I want to send it out NOW NOW NOW, but I know from experience I ought to wait a few more days...writing is not an endeavor for impatient people!!


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