Words, phrases, punctuation, conversational flow, plot, storyline, bully my thoughts. You don’t let me concentrate on tasks that actually pay my bills. Always flooding my mind with new narratives, or a witty comeback for a character to say. I can’t even get a full night’s rest anymore without waking up in the darkness and fumbling for the paper and pen I keep under my pillow. I open my eyes in the morning and vigorously grab the pad of paper to see what ideas interrupted my dreams last night. Sometimes good ones, other times it’s all gibberish, and I can’t even follow my own thought process. During the day, I try and work on expense reports and spreadsheets, but all I think about is where my protagonist is going on their next adventure. Phone calls and emails interrupt my timeline design. The clock moves so slowly at the office and speeds up at home. Eating, phone calls from my mom, and personal hygiene interrupt my writing time. I try and steal as many precious free moments as I can – even in the shower, I’m thinking of the next chapter. I just want the world to shut down and allow me to do what I am destined to do. Writing from dusk to midnight is never enough. It’s become a habit I can’t shake. I’m an addict. I have lost complete control and have allowed the desire to write to fully consume my body. Once a hobby, writing has now become a complete obsession. I’m too weak to fight it any longer. I would rather be at home in front of the computer writing about friendship than actually out with my friends at a movie, bar, museum, or restaurant. My friends and social life are collateral damage in my new life. The characters I created are my friends now. We have endless debates about where the plot should go next, and deep philosophical conversations about life. All of them understand my quirky personality and laugh at my sarcastic sense of humor. They need me as much as I need them. I give them life and they give me purpose. I check the time on the computer screen and heave a big sigh. It’s Monday morning again and I have not left the apartment in two days. I’m in the middle of an important conversation between Jonathan and Mason. They beg me to finish before I leave. I start to argue, but they are too powerful. I text my boss and tell him I’m sick and not able to come into the office today. Jonathan and Mason both smile as I wipe my brow and join the conversation again.