Quite often we think of obsessing as a negative thing. But is it really?
Obsess—the verb. To be preoccupied, uppermost in someone’s mind, prey on someone’s mind, posses, haunt, consume, plague, torment, hound, bedevil, beset, take control of, control, take over, have a hold on, rule eat up, have a grip on, to be infatuated with, be smitten with, hung up about….
Obsession—the noun. To become his obsession, fixation, consuming, passion, mania, compulsion, preoccupation, infatuation, addiction, fetish, craze, hobbyhorse, phobia, complex, thing……
Obsession—the adjective. To be relentless, fanatic, neurotic, excessive, over keen, besting, inescapable….
Is it the time spent that makes an obsession a negative thing instead of a pleasant afternoon? In fact, if it doesn’t last too long, a couple of hours of fixation might be just the way to spend a wonderful afternoon—perhaps with a consuming passion? Is it the item fixed upon? I can’t see why being a fanatic about a clean sink drain could be of much harm. Where exactly is the obsessing which makes it less than charming? Where is the line crossed?
I’ve been thinking. About the act of writing. Is it a minor act of obsession? The impulse to put our innermost thoughts on paper for the express purpose to expose them for entertainment for someone besides ourselves. Where does that impulse come from? What takes writing from impulse to compulsion?
How about the act of creativity? When we do write, why do we assume often obsess over the creative way in which ink finds its way to paper? Does someone else has a better way of doing it? A compulsion to look and explore another writer’s way of working has cost me untold hours of re-writing to get stories back on track—this I find a definite negative. But, in the beginning of writing, I obsessed over the process because I didn’t understand it, couldn’t figure out where it came from, and quite often didn’t understand how it could be so different in the way it works for so many.
The conclusion: Obsess over pleasurable activities. Don’t obsess over the way you or anyone else does their writing—that is a very short road to a long headache.
Now I’m going to go have a bit more hibiscus tea and perhaps a small bit of chocolate. (Forget the tea—I’m heading for the secret stash of cho……..)