An Unwilling Addict

Sometimes, I wonder if I was meant to be a writer.

There are days like today when I sit down in front of my computer, staring at the blank cage, fingers hovering over the keys, and there’s nothing. No flutter in the back of my mind, no knotting in my gut, no tingle that runs through my hands. Everything inside me is as blank as that page and I find my attention wavers, distracted, until I’m caught up in someone else’s creative success. The hours pass and I realized that I haven’t written anything and it makes me want to throw my laptop against the wall.

It’s hard to push forward when words are like gristle in your teeth, kicking and screaming and refusing to be dragged out into the open. Avoidance seems like the better part of valor, and I shut myself down until I can barely remember what it was I meant to do in the first place. All my stories remain stillborn, a silence that I resolutely try to ignore. Guilt drowns out the noise and I think, “Maybe I’m not a writer at all.”

Writing is a terrible addiction, crawling under my skin with heat and needles. There are some days I’m so distracted by the worlds being built in my head that I can barely see straight, my eyes caught on characters coming to life in the corners of my mind. It’s hateful and wretched and I’ve never needed something this badly.

I have another week for NaNoWriMo. I’m 9000 words behind. I’ve stared at an empty page all day and I can feel cobwebs knotting in my hands from disuse. I don’t know if I’ll complete that goal, for the first time in the three years I’ve tried. But, the only other option is giving up, and that’s even worse.


Published by Ren Martinez

Ren is a thirty-something Lost Boy whose personal aesthetic is “suspected of witchcraft by local villagers.” She subscribes to cheerful nihilism, the destruction of the patriarchy, and the belief that glitter makes everything better. She is a Richmond-based writer and performer who has fiction and non-fiction work found in a variety of publications, such as The Mary Sue, RVA Magazine, The Quotable, and Nostrovia Press. She is currently the fiction editor and a regular contributor at Quail Bell Magazine. She is also the co-host of the podcast, This F***ing Guy! Find out more at or read her dumbass tweets on Twitter @itsrenmartinez

One thought on “An Unwilling Addict

  1. Oh the emotions we go through during NaNo 😛 But keep it up! I’m also about 9000 words behind actually and while I’d be really happy if I make the deadline, I think I’ll still be pretty proud of myself for finally sitting down and writing over 30,000 words in a month. Keep calm and carry on 😉

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