When I was young, I was really obsessive.
Once I got interested in something, it would take up all my attention.
Way, way back in my younger years, it was dinosaurs. I knew all the different types and what they looked like and what they ate and everything else about them. For a time, I even convinced myself I was going to be a palaeontologist when I grew up.
As I got older, I found new things to obsess over. Model trains, stamp collecting, football and cricket, Lord of the Rings, pop music, Monty Python, Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy. Every time I found a new interest, it would take over my life. I had to know absolutely everything about it. There was little else I could talk about. There was little else I could think about.
I’m glad to say I’m not like that anymore. I’m not one of those crazy fans who obsess over every little detail of their fascination. Sure, I still have plenty of interests, and many of them are the same things I was so caught up by in my younger years.
But I’m no longer obsessed by any one of these things. While my interests can remain strong, I keep a healthy distance from getting too caught up. I don’t find myself thinking about these things all the time, and needing to know every single insignificant detail. And most importantly, my brain is not taken up by one thing above all others. I can be interested in heaps of things – sport or art or books or movies or music or current events or politics – all at the same time.
When I get into writing mode, it’s a completely different story.
This is where my obsessive side takes over. As soon as the tiniest idea for a story creeps into my brain, I’m a goner.
I can’t stop thinking about it. Twenty-four hours a day, my mind is twisting and turning through the possibilities. No matter where I am or what I’m doing – whether at work or play or trying to sleep – my brain keeps reminding me about that story. Ideas pop up in the strangest places. If I don’t have a piece of paper to jot them down, they’ll distract me until I’m a gibbering mess. Nothing else matters. Nothing else could possibly be as important as that story trying to burst out of me.
So there you have it. I’m definitely not obsessive – except when I am.
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