I recently had a depression and I thought that I was going to quit writing even though I had never stopped thinking about writing for years before that. I was so depressed that I even wanted to delete all of my stories online.
However, as soon as I had an idea to stop writing, I felt my fingers missing my keyboard, then the inspiration sparked; “I have to write down this emotional moment!”
I love writing. I am addicted to writing.
Writing is always sitting in my head, and I am always seeking out writing subjects; “What will I write about next?” Even when I am cooking, having a bath or meeting my friends, I cannot separate my life from my writing. My writing is my life.
Why is writing so intense for me? Why is it so addictive? What makes me stuck to my computer all day long?
The happiest moring for me is getting up with a new writing idea. Having writing ideas every day is crucial for me. Thinking “what I am going to write today,” in bed is part of my morning routine. I rush to my computer after getting up after I have thought about an idea in bed. If I don’t have any ideas, my day’s writing starts slowly, and I would be grumpy.
Most of the time, inspiration doesn’t come to me when I am waiting for it. It often comes when I was not expecting it; when I am working in the garden, when I am having a shower, when I’m cutting vegetables, walking on the street, or even when I am writing other articles. Inspiration could hit you anytime, so you just need to grab it.
I think about my writings all the time, consciously and subconsciously. When I am awake, I am looking for something that I can write about. When I am sleeping, I am dreaming about writing.
The flowers of writing-ecstasy sparkle
Getting inspiration is my happiness, but moreover, the ecstasy of writing exists while I am writing. It is a super-concentration which is so powerful that I forget about the time I consume writing. I feel as if the flowers of writing-ecstasy are sparkling in my brain. It brings me a “writer’s-high,” satisfaction and achievement.
I forget even my hunger and my sleep while I am at that point. I should feel tired after a long time of typing, but I feel more powerful instead.
You may have heard of “runner’s high” caused by endorphins. After runners have run for a certain time, some of them get into a “runner’s high” where they don’t feel tiredness even though their body is exhausted. Instead, they even feel as if they can keep running forever. Is it something similar for us, — writers? If so, our “writer’s high” must be related to the neurotransmitters.
It is said that Busshi (仏師 in Japanese), who carves Buddism sculptures, have a clear vision of Buddha in the log before they carve it out. We, writers, have whispers in our head before we write them out. When we have a strong desire to write, it is a flood of words; you can’t catch up with your stream of words and sentences no matter how fast you can type. And you have come on the plateau of concentration.
“Plateau of concentration” is the moment when you are extremely focused on your creative work and feel ‘ecstasy’ that makes you forget the time or even who you are. While I am on the plateau, I can forget everything but writing. I don’t want to eat. I don’t want to sleep. It is a Zen garden where the flowers of ecstasy bloom and nobody can stop you from writing.
On that stage, you never feel tired. You can type thousands of words and letters until you have gotten your whispers from your head out to be visible onto your pages. Your writing drives further writing and even accelerates typing. Don’t you think it’s similar to “runner’s high”?
Writing is a tranquiliser
In ancient China, there is a famous story written by Zhuangzi, a Chinese philosopher; One night, a man whose name was Chou dreamt being a butterfly. He was happily flying around as a butterfly in that dream, but when he awoke, he wondered whether he was a man who had just had a dream to be a butterfly, or he was a butterfly who at that moment was having a dream to be a man.
Self-recognition or identification is always critical for us. We want to know who we are and I believe that writing helps you to understand yourself. Your writing is yourself. It’s mirroring you. It’s a conversation with yourself.
Writing brings you to a calm lake where your ideas happily fly around and where you reach your ecstasy. With your ecstasy, you forget whether you are yourself or a butterfly, and you can objectively face someone on the water’s surface. There is no depression, no suffering. There is just a tranquilness where you want to come back to again.
We continue writing over and over and cannot stop it. That is also related to reward expectation. Our motivation is boosted up by the reward system in our brain where dopamine acts as an important role. Money is one of the rewards, but it’s not only about money. We all want to be recognised and approved by someone else. Writers expect their stories to be read by the audience and to get as much applause as possible.
We are all social creatures. We more or less want to be connected to others. When you throw a ball, you want to have someone to receive it and throw it back to you. It is said that dopamine pathways are rewarded in ways similar to eating and having sex through interactional activity on social media.
We are also greedy things. Once you get something, you want to get more. It is a pleasure stimulated by dopamine. Therefore, we cannot stop writing once we know the ecstasy of getting that applause.
Reading is an addiction, and so is writing. Writing is my shadow which follows me wherever I go. Writing is a mirror which shows me who I am.
Once you know the joy of writing, it’s difficult to break up with it. You will keep writing until your neurotransmitters vanish into smoke.
When I get a high point of concentration, I will be free from myself, from depression and any desire of eating or sleeping. It is a writing ecstasy which brings me to the tranquil Zen garden, where the butterfly, who sprinkles their golden scales of inspiration, whispers me, “What are you going to write about next?”