I'm in the process of applying for jobs, yet again. And I can tell you, I'm thoroughly fed up of it. But the thing is, I have this disgusting habit which requires me to beg, steal, borrow, sell my body or do some bloody work to fund it.
Yes, I'm talking about my Writing Addiction.
I acquired this deliciously dirty little pass time in my teens. I wrote awful poetry. I'm sure you know the sort I mean. And I dabbled in short stories, but also began my very first novel.
It was called Panthra and was about a man who transmogrified into... yes, you guessed it, A PANTHER. I was fourteen. Don't laugh so hard. Okay, go ahead. I'm howling too. Then, check out the uTube clip so that you know my idea was not altogether crazy.
Well the upshot of all this is that I'm still here, 32 years later, supporting my little habit.
I've tried various methods to cure me of this sinful addiction.
Rae's Writer's Anonymous 8 step programme
1. Full time teaching for 13 years – it almost killed me but did not stop the words from pushing their way from pen to paper, then keyboard to screen.
2. A couple of bad relationships – which depleted my bank account but had no effect on the habit apart from an increase in poetry – better in style than the teenage years but pretty poor none the less.
3. Unpleasant writing groups – these left me bereft of ever finding kindred writing spirits, but didn't decrease the desire to write.
4. Very enjoyable writing groups – which introduced me to a bevy of kindred writing spirits, increased my output and demanded more writing time and less full time job.
5. Part-Time Work – worked a treat by upping my word count substantially. Ask any one at Caroline Naztler's writing workshops.
6. Redundancy – great in theory as the impending doom of no money should cramp the creative process. Had no effect.
7. Self Employment – if you can understand the DWP website and know how to add up. Result - Chasing The Hypotenuse
8. Signing On – humiliating, demoralising and deflating. I don't recommend it for anyone who does not have the strongest of constitutions. And as you will see from the poem at the end of this post, it did little to cure me of my addiction.
So here I am, thoroughly addicted to words. And I wouldn't have it any other way, even when life is going totally pear shaped. Because it keeps me sane, it keeps me happy and it never fails to make me smile.
The wolf is at the door,
I'm always keeping him at bay -
I manage this by choosing wisely in the friendship stakes.
The evidence is in the axes littering the welcome mat
And my shed is stacked with firewood though I have no fire place.
The wolf is at the door
In the guise of an urban fox.
I almost didn't recognise him sporting that bushy auburn brush.
I have a fondness for red hair
So was temporarily blinded
By the fiery flash.
But now I think it's all clear.
The wolf is at the door -
Threatening, all huff and puff
And Red's out riding in the Hood,
Her voicemail says her number's no longer in service.
I think she's working undercover lately.
The wolf is at the door,
Buffy's no longer fighting beasties,
Van Helsing's totally obsessed with vamps.
I'll have to play it solo -
Plant and cultivate some wolf's bane,
Melt down all my silver earrings -
© Rae Stoltenkamp 30/04/2011