Hi. My name is Heather and I’m addicted to fiction–reading it and writing it. I’ve been in denial about my problem for several years, thinking that I could continue to hold it together by just not thinking about the stories I wanted to tell or the fictions I had read. I’d fill in with reading non-fiction, oh so much non-fiction, to try to stave off the fiction cravings. Essays, blogging, so much blogging, marketing copy, so much marketing copy, books on business, books on brain science.
Oh, sure, I would sneak a little fiction in here and there, when a client’s marketing project called for a story line or a character. I’d write a few scenes and pretend I could handle it because it was work-related. Just a story or two with the guys, you know? Or I’d read a short story in a magazine in a waiting room, telling myself it was okay just this once, that I’d be done after this.
Eventually, of course, all this cheating would lead to a full-blown episode, a complete falling off the wagon. I’d pick up George R.R. Martin or Suzanne Collins, telling myself I could take it one chapter at a time. What is the definition of insanity? Next thing I knew, the house would be crumbling around my ears, deadlines whizzing past, the kids ripping each other’s eyeballs out and Carey standing beside me asking whether I would ever ever learn, and I didn’t even care. All I cared about was the next page, the next sentence, the next which-favorite-character-will-rip-my-heart-out?
The first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem. I have a problem. My problem is that on May 5, 2013 (rather, a few days before but I started tracking on May 5), I began writing my first novel. Then on June 2, I started a blog about writing fiction. I admit my problem, yes.
And I embrace it. I’m almost-40, and finally writing my first novel. It’s about time.