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My obsessive-compulsive disorder. (Does that period look funny to you?)

notobsessive.jpgI have a confession. I have mild OCD. I say mild because I know people who have full-blown, gale-force obsessive compulsive disorders and they’re nothing like me. These are people who completely pluck out their eyebrows during scary movies. Or wash their hands 30 times a day. I even have an Aunt with OCD who was picked up by the Oregon Highway Patrol for walking down I-5 naked––trying to stop cars with the power of God. (Actually, now that I think of it she was more schizophrenic, but it conjures a nice visual doesn’t it?)

Why am I telling you this? Because it’s a wonderful thing. There’s this obsessive zone that can be incredibly productive. Like being a manic-depressive, without that bitter depressive aftertaste. Sure it’s a little odd at times. How odd? Well, I always stop the microwave with two seconds left since it’s my favorite number. Is that so strange? And how do I treat it? I don’t. I indulge it through my work. It gives me something to obsess over.

And it’s not all bad. It’s alleged that sufferers are generally of above-average intelligence. (Bonus!) And famous figures who’ve been known to have OCD include Joey Ramone, Florence Nightingale, Howard Stern, Jessica Alba (Jessica Alba?) and everyone’s favorite Kleenex box-wearing billionaire Howard Hughes.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to spell-check this twenty times before posting.

What do you obsess about?

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Reader Comments (13)

I only use odd numbers in my fiction, never even ones. Odd numbers seem easier to believe. Or maybe it's an mild OCD thing?
March 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJimT
I'm a compulsive writer. Even sat in the bath, or on the throne(!) I have to write. I carry note books everywhere I go. I can be cooking the evening meal and yep, be scribbling. I haven't yet scribbled during the er, act. But who knows. Maybe that's because both hands are usually occupied.

Oh, and thanks for stopping by. Nice to find a new place to visit. Have bookmarked you. :-)
March 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAlexandra
While the odd number thing sounds, well, odd--it makes perfect sense. Probably does to most writers I'd guess. Odd numbers seem more random I suppose, leaving fewer fingerprints of the author.

And Alexandra, I understand completely. Thanks to my laptop I've written in many a strange place. Thanks for stopping by.
March 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjamie
If I get a zit, I gotta pop it.

I can't believe I just admitted that.
March 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDana
Thanks for sharing. I keep hearing Jack Nicholson in my head shouting "you can't handle the truth!"
March 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJamie
I think OCDs aren't just things we are born with. The brain is a very maleable piece of wetware. After spending hours a day editing, over the space of a few years, I think it's entirely possible to develop a previously non-existing OCD.

Please put the period after the parentheses.

March 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel Hatadi
Hey, Jamie...just checking out your site. Good stuff. Thanks for dropping by mine and commenting. Nice to "meet" someone new.
March 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKarl
I have to know exactly where I'm going before going somewhere I've never been before, because I hate being late. Oh and I hate being lost too.

And I write slow because I write a scene then reread and layer on more good stuff. This process loops over again and again. =)
March 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Parra
I don't know if this is an obsession or a habit, but I always count stairs as I climb them. I count other stuff too. I have no idea what that means, but I choose to believe it means I am a genius. Or idiot savant.
March 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJaye Wells
I think all writers have some form of OCD, Jamie.

It's what makes us write.

March 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Hurtubise
I am in agreeance with Adam. I know it's not a real word but Fred Durst used it at the Grammys a few years ago and it got high-centered in my brain.

Nice to know I'm not alone.

March 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJamie
OCD makes me feel an awful need to get a book done as quickly as i can. i always feel very anxious until it's finished, so i actually write too quickly in my race to be done.
March 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteranne frasier
Thanks for the comment Anne. I picked up "Hush" last week by the way. Haven't read it yet, but it's working its way up the stack.

I feel the same way with the current WIP. I'm starting the 3rd draft this weekend, and once I start I feel compelled to work on it every day until it's done. If I take a day off it takes me too long to get back into the rhythm.
March 23, 2006 | Registered CommenterJamie

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