when writing and OCD collide

Don’t you hate it when two things come to blows with one another?  Teeth sensitivity and ice cream.  Cold intolerance during a beautiful winter snow.  Potato chips and canker sores.

Sometimes yin and yang bump heads.

I’ve found the combination of writing and OCD to be quite the double edged sword.  Laser-like focus (or what some might call obsession) pushes me to develop engaging storylines, strong sentence structure, creative expressions, along with correct grammar and punctuation.  It’s what compels me to read a piece for the thirtieth time, determined to strip every last extraneous word out until it’s smooth as silk.  It’s usually why I’m up until 1:00am, too.

It’s quirkiness to the tenth degree, and I figure the best way to deal with that level of nutty is to hit it head on.  Here are a few head shaking Real World Problems when writing and OCD collide.

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**  Juggling a burning desire to work in pen that glides across my paper with ease vs. an almost reflexively painful reaction to crossing things out.

**  Hand written notes are nothing but minefields – lines of script that aren’t quite straight, blotchy misspellings, and the grammar error spotted after the whole thing’s done.

**  Speaking of my uncontrollable irritation with errors, there’s the struggle of almost reaching the bottom of a page and then, on the very last line, making a huge mistake requiring massive scribbles and scratches.

**  The feeling I’m killing all the trees on particularly antsy days.  The kind of days when misspellings, inferior sentence structure, inadequate adjectives, and false starts make me rip page after page from my notebook.  Shoot, when I’m fully amped up even something as small as off center print adds to the pile of paper around me.

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I’m working on relaxing my rigid unreasonably high picky standards.  I have a personal, private, no-one-ever-sees-it-but-me notebook that I carry here and there.  It’s where I scribble brainstorming or posts while I’m in waiting rooms and car rider lines, and each day I try to get just a little more comfortable with the scratches and scribbles.  Just a little.  It’s a work in progress.  A slow one.

4 thoughts on “when writing and OCD collide

  1. What would be the fun in the writing process if it was pain-free? All those stops and starts and crumpled sheets make the days when words glide freely even more satisfying. I find that writing ease comes and goes; my desire to do it doesn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds like your OCD is maybe a hidden superpower. You’re fighting the great editing fight. Good for you. Personally, I always forget to engage in this part. Causing me to notice errors a few days AFTER I post something. Oops. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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