Is Writing an Addiction?

I have my own experience of addiction, having been an alcoholic for 27 years. It took suffering a minor stroke in 1995, to make me see the error of my ways. It’s said that an addict has to reach rock bottom before they wise-up, and watching four alcoholics die in surrounding hospital beds the day I was admitted certainly helped me to straighten up and fly right.

I kicked booze out of my life, and haven’t come close to falling off the waggon. I don’t miss it at all, and it’s 24 years since I imbibed alcohol.

I’ve never been tempted by any other addictions—tobacco, drugs, gambling or overindulging in food or sex.

All the same, I notice that I get a real high out of writing. There’s something about creating a story that stimulates the reward system in my brain. I derive great pleasure from the act of writing, coming alive while doing so and feeling happier than I do in other day-to-day activities.

I don’t feel the same way about editing, which feels like a tedious form of going cold turkey. As for querying literary agents, that might be a version of religious supplication—petitioning the Gatekeeper Lords with the prayers of my submission!

Do any of you get high from writing?

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