where the writers are
My name is Benedict Jones…

And I am addicted to writing. As with many addictions, it has been with me for some time, but it was only recently that I realised the full gravity of my problem. At first it was a hobby; something to fill the empty spaces and an easy way to channel what was, and remains, an over-worked imagination. I had control. This changed and as the years progressed I found that I was dedicating more and more time to my ‘hobby’. But that was fine because it wasn’t eating into my studies or social life and the time would have been wasted on something else, such as sports, which to this day I am not at all keen on. My life was on track: at university I planned to study astrophysics, complete my masters and then go on to do a PhD and spend the rest of my days basking in the glory of academia. At first, this plan was flawless.

I learned the insidious nature of addiction the hard way. I started day dreaming more often, losing concentration during class; preferring to muse on the death of a favourite character rather than on the dynamics of star formation. My grades began to fall and in the summer of 2006 I had to retake an exam in what was supposed to be one of my strongest subjects. This came as something of a blow and I reacted not by working harder, but by writing. I soon discovered that I could coast my way through the course and dedicate more and more time to my secret vice.

So what should I do with this addiction?

I thought about searching for others with my predicament, maybe joining some sort of ‘Writers Anonymous’ group and setting my life on track. It is still within my reach to rejoin society and get a job, even if I don’t fully enjoy it. But would I not be denying my nature? Should I not see this as my true calling? The urge to write will always be there at the back of my mind, so the question reamains: would I not rather fail at something I love than something I despise?