She writes

Hundreds of college composition books littered her bedroom floor, each filled with her tight, precise handwriting. Every page, every margin overflowing with words. Her words, her stories.

She had to get these details written out, to preserve them. Oral traditions faded away, words put to paper were forever.

The feel of ink making contact with parchment was like no other. She tried typing out her words, but she couldn’t get them from her finger tips quickly enough. Pens, pencils, even crayons, were an extension of her hand, intrinsically connected to her brain. The words flowed though her veins, bleeding out onto the paper.

In the daylight, it was easier to control the urge to write, though sometimes she would realize her napkins at lunch were covered in words when she didn’t remember writing. Sitting at stop lights, a thought would come and she would cover her arm in tiny script in the time she had between red and green.

There wasn’t a scrap of paper, receipt or envelope in her purse that wasn’t used to scribble her stories.

To the outside world, her constant note taking was merely a personality quirk. There was no way of knowing her compulsion was all-consuming. Her need to write more primal than her need to eat or sleep. That in the dead of the night, surrounded by her notebooks and pens, she writes, and writes, and writes…

When the sun sets, when the moon rises, she succumbs to her Midnight Disease. While outside the warm summer winds blew gently through the trees, inside it was a dark and stormy night.

*Hypergraphia – the compulsive urge to write – is often associated with temporal lobe epilepsy or manic phases of bipolar disorder. It’s sometimes called the Midnight Disease.

Turn about is only fair, my challenge this week went to my challenger from last week, Greg: “Wait until your father gets home!”

My writing challenge came from my good friend, and Indie Ink newbie, Lance from My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog: “it was a dark and stormy night.”

Interested in joining the Challenge? Stop by Indie Ink for details.

My word cloud graphic was created at: Wordle.net

17 thoughts on “She writes

  1. Huh. I sorta thought you were making up a situation. I had no idea such a thing existed, though I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me. There are so many maladies that make life so hard to live. And yes, I like this glimpse, of course! :)

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  2. I really love this piece Tara. Though I don’t think I’m really a Midnight Disease person…I have woken up in the middle of the night with ideas for a post that I had to write down somewhere. However, that’s happening less and less…wonder why. ~Joy

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    • Thank you! I always keep pen and paper with me. Even today, I was standing in the middle of the grocery aisle writing down an exchange between my son and me so I wouldn’t forget it. I’ll do the same thing in the middle of the night if I wake up from a particularly weird dream. It’s not to a manic stage, but I do feel odd if I don’t have my notebook with me.

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  3. THIS. IS. INCREDIBLE. Sometimes, often times actually, I can only seem to write at night. The peace and quiet seem to take over instead of the daily chaos.

    this was so awesome Tara, excellent job!

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  4. I love this. And I wish I could come down with this affliction, especially on days when there is not one word to be had anywhere in my brain. Maybe I could get just a mild case. Sort of like I occasionally wish I could get a mild case of some illness that would cause massive weight loss.

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    • In some of my research, it said that writer’s block – hypographia – is linked to hypergraphia. Neither are disorders or conditions on their own, only characteristics of other mental or neurological issues. To counter writer’s block, many people will channel their creative efforts into other artistic things like painting, or sculpting. Van Gogh was reputed to have hypergraphia.

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  5. I love this. I didn’t know about the Midnight Disease, but I love the way you captured it. I signed up to do II this week :) It’s time I gave my writing muscles more of a stretch again. Now that the kids are in school, I need to get myself back into the habit. :D

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  6. Good grief this is good. I read this in the car, so ill reread this later but first impression is off the charts.

    You know my anxiety issues and how writing torments me. I related to the midnight disease.

    Excellent

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