Tag Archive | writer

A Lonely Young Poet

Gerard ter Borch

artwork – Gerard ter Borch

A lonely young poet
with sweet, red wine
silently welcomes the night
as she would an old friend.

Crimson drops spill
as her glass fills to the brim.

Slowly she sips the nectar
that will transform her world.

Eclectic visions flow forth,
the laureates tongue slurs
under intoxication’s haze.

Her voiceless verbose rambles on
as she empties the bottle.

The crystal goblet glistens
as the days new light
finds its way into her
darkened room.

The page on which she rests
is stained with the color
of tears and old wine.

When she awakes
the words will greet her,
bringing with them
a few, still
moments of peace.

It will last until
the daylight
once again

Crystal R. Cook ~ 2000

This effects us all, it affects us too. I can almost guarantee you have WA.

WA is a recognized and widespread epidemic of addiction affecting people from around the globe. This affliction has silently consumed lives for centuries, some may argue it is a harmless addiction, though many have been known to suffer from co-morbid conditions such as alcohol and caffeine abuse.

Negative side effects include insomnia, malnourishment, and social deficits. Family members of those living with WA have reported episodes of withdrawal, lack of spontaneity, decreased desire to engage in family activities, lack of personal care, and sustained periods of restlessness in those diagnosed.

Currently, the typical diagnostic criteria used to determine addiction is not apparent in all cases, many go unrecognized by the medical and psychiatric communities leading to a majority of cases being diagnosed by family members. Many of those with WA are self diagnosed.

In many instances you may hear it referred to as a syndrome in lieu of an addiction. A majority of those with WA do not see it as an addiction, they believe they were born with WA. Popular theory and current research suggests there may be a genetic component involved.

Since the diagnostic criterium for addiction is not always met, WA, also known as Writing Addiction, or Writing Syndrome, is often a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning you know your addicted if you’ve excluded everything else in life aside from the written word.

In fact, if you are reading this you may have one of two very real addictions, perhaps even both. If you are reading simply because you must read you more than likely have RA, Reading Addiction. If you are reading this and already thinking of what to write about it, it’s safe to say you are a Writing addict. If you are reading this out of sheer compulsion AND thinking of what to write, you are not alone, a majority of those diagnosed carry a dual diagnosis referred to as RAWA, Reading and Writing Addiction. There is no shame.

Writing addiction is not something you plan. It is an all-encompassing desire, the more you write the more you need to write. Like most addictions, it begins to consume you. At first it’s just jotting things down now and then, a bit of poetry here, a little prose there and soon you’re writing stories and sonnets and epic works of words late into the night.

It’s a secret addiction in the beginning, harmless to most. Writing addicts typically start in their spare time. It doesn’t take long until spare time is no longer enough; it begins to creep into their day. When you’re supposed to be doing bills an idea will hit and next thing you know you’ve written half a chapter on the back of your electric bill.

It doesn’t end there. Dinners get burned, kids are late for school, laundry piles up and you forget to feed the dogs, you write about it though. Hungry Dogs, a Tale of Sad Tails. When it first begins it’s easy to hide, but soon you get careless and scraps of paper litter the countertops and the dressers, notebooks and journals are in every room of the house.

Your desktop is filled with papers and coffee cups. Oh yes, coffee cups. Once the addiction has you in its clutches you forego nourishment for a good old Cup-o-Joe to keep you going. Snack foods sustain life. By the time family and friends see the signs it’s too late. No one says anything until you arrive at school in the afternoon to pick up your children wearing yesterday’s pajamas.

By the time anyone suspects there is a problem it’s already too late. Sure, they can hold interventions; they can beg and plead, but the need to write simply cannot be overcome. Once you have it, you have it for life. Eventually those who love you will accept the reality of your life. You are a writer.

There isn’t much you can do for someone with writing addiction except accept them and love them just as you did before they picked up a pen. In some cases it is genetic; many children of writing addicts are themselves addicts by the time they reach puberty. The same can be said for the offspring of reading addicts. There has yet to be a cure, its doubtful there ever will be.

I myself am a reading and writing addict. It began when I took my first breath, my family has tried to put an end to it, but they’ve never succeeded. They’ve never even come close. They know I will write about them if they push it too far. Do they think I don’t know casserole will burn if I don’t stop writing long enough to take it out of the oven? I mean seriously, why else would I keep a fire extinguisher at my desk. I’m one step ahead them.

In conclusion, writing can in fact, be an addiction. There is no way to know who will become a slave to the written word. There is no way to stop it once it has begun. I suppose those of us with writing addiction are enabling the reading addicts among us, they can’t get enough of what we do . . . but then, are they not in a sense encouraging our own addiction to writing? And what of those of us with the dual addiction, we are our own worst enemy and best friend; it is a vicious circle, one with no end.

If a cure is ever found I’m heading for the hills. I wonder if I can get high-speed Internet service up there . . . no matter, paper, pens and solitude is all I need to feed the hunger. No twelve step programs for me, I’ll write one for anyone who wishes to work through their beautiful addiction though, not that anyone would.

Writers Angst

I’m not good enough. It is as simple as that; I’m just not good enough. There is a wicked little voice somewhere inside of me, whispering of my inadequacies, reminding me of my shortcomings. I’ve tried to quell it with all of the positive thinking I can muster, but still it never quiets. If I could rid myself of this angst I imagine I would rise higher into the literary heights I often dream of, but alas, the beast that it is does not share my dreams.

It cannot stop the words from flowing forth; it cannot keep me bound in some wordless prison. No, all of my words are locked up right alongside of me. Every now and again I find escape. Every now and then I feel a sense of accomplishment. Each time I do however, the voice begins to babble. Each time I see my name in print it should fill me with pride and it quite often does, sadly though, it doesn’t last for long.

I question each word I write, for the longest time I kept my words hidden so no one would see. It is a small victory for me each time I show the world what lay within me. I often wonder if this battle will always be. If I will always feel not good enough, if I will ever stop waiting for someone to finally tell me to stop writing and wasting my time.

Words have been my constant companions; they have never failed me, never judged me, never left me. They let me do with them what I will; they give themselves to me without question. The voice tells me they are not mine to have, I am not worthy of them.

In my heart I do not believe it, in my heart I know my words are meant to be, I know I am worthy of them. It is not my heart that stands between me and what could be, it is my mind, my ever working, ever wondering, ever wandering mind that builds the walls I must climb.

It is a sometimes a struggle to knock them down, yet brick by brick they fall and I make my way past the rubble and travel with my head held high, praying no more walls will block my path. I know I will one day find the strength to hush the voice of doubt, for I know that small, yet powerful voice is my own.

Crystal R. Cook

With words as my wings

In the serenity
of sweet silence,
a passing muse
softly beckons,
we soar
high above
this plane of

With pen in hand,
I wrap my soul
in the warmth,
and wonder,
and whimsy
of words.

I revel
in the release
of my spirit,
transported to
that perfect place
where words

I give
the breath
of life
to my every
my every
my every
in the peace
they bring.

I fly without fear,
with words
as my wings,
and free . . .

Crystal R. Cook


We Write by Crystal R. Cook

As long as there are words, there will be someone at the ready with their quill of choice to pen them. Words have always been, and words will always be . . . so we write.

I write because it sustains me, it brings me peace. I write so I will live on in my words when my time on earth has passed. My voice immortalized forever upon a page in hopes the children of my grandchildren may one day hear me and know who I once was. I hope they know when they hold my words in their hearts, they are holding me.

Writing is the sweetest of freedoms. It breaks the chains which try to bind us to this world. It is freedom to release and let go of angst or anger, sadness or fear. Freedom to soar above this plane of existence and reach heights never before reached. When we write we are free to be all of who we are when the world seeks to quell our voices.

I must share the words that well within me. I must write of my joys and my sorrows, my memories and my dreams. I must share the knowledge I have gained and I must write to learn, for there is much to be learned. In my words I am real. No pretences, no expectations and no judgments.

To some, writing is as essential as the air around them, each word a life-sustaining breath, a beat of their heart. Words hold healing for the one who writes them as well as the one who reads them; there is power in each stroke of the pen. The written word is a gift of greatest worth.

Writers teach, they entertain, they inspire and they motivate, they capture and they captivate. If writers ceased to give life to words, knowledge would no longer be gained, memories would fade, and the most important of things would be forever forgotten.

Some writers learn to write, honing their craft to create, others were born with the blessing of words ready to flow from their fingertips, all share their gift with the world, leaving the mark of their soul on humanity. Many writers have helped mold the lives of those who read their words. People are shaped, in no small part, by what they read in life; they carry the words within them. Enlightenment is often found in the pages of a book, a simple thought, printed and bound, can be a life changing epiphany for someone else. What greater gift could a writer give or receive? I can think of none better.

Writers must write. I truly don’t think there are words enough to explain just why we dance this dance with words. We simply must write . . .

Crystal R. Cook



Inspiration . . . the often elusive treasure every wandering muse searches for. Inspiration is the heart and soul of a writer’s world. Inspiration breathes life into the written word. Without it, a writer could not weave a work of words into a beautiful tapestry for a reader to behold.

Inspiration generally finds me when I am not seeking it. It may rise from the ashes of heartache or drift in on the wings of a gentle spring zephyr. I have been inspired by the innocence of a sleeping babe, by the perfect sound of a child’s laughter and by sadness seen in the eyes of a grieving widow.

Often, when I am looking for inspiration, it seems there is none to be found until it sneaks in and surprises me in a quiet moment. Inspiration likes to wake me in the dark of night and steal my slumber, my sleepy eyes blur the words I pen to the page by the light of a midnight moon. I know too well if I wait until the morn, the moment will have passed and what could have been written will never be wrote.

Many find inspiration in the world around them, some find it within themselves. I have been inspired by questions asked and by answers given. I have found inspiration in the breathtaking beauty of a butterfly’s wing and in the clouded eyes of an old man on the corner, sitting in silence as people pass him by.

An American flag tattered yet proud, flowing freely and strong. The image of a soldier kneeling in faithful prayer, not knowing what tomorrow will bring, and watching trees gently sway as they dance with the wind. The sound of raindrops on a rooftop or the softness of skin, aged gracefully with time. The worn binding and soft pages of a treasured, old book. These are but a few of the many things which have inspired me.

I’ve been inspired by once forgotten memories that somehow found their way back to me. There are times when pain is my inspiration, instead of letting it fester, I let whatever words come bring healing. Unexpected inspiration can be born of anger and angst, I’ve found healing in these moments as well.

I have learned inspiration comes when it will. I have also learned to look and listen and feel everything within me and around me, so when it comes round it will not easily pass me by.

For some time now, I’ve not heeded the call to write when it beckoned and begged me to spill new words upon a page. I’ve once again opened my eyes and my ears and my heart to the inspirations that have long been crying out in effort to be noticed.

This blog, this new chapter is strange and exciting. Until now I’ve kept so much of what I have poured onto the page for myself. I’ve been my own worst critic. I’ve let self-doubt take my hand and lead me astray. I’ve limited myself to paragraphs and chapters here and there, tiny samplings of what I hold inside. I’ve published randomly around the web, articles that merely left me aching to write more, stifled by word counts and subject matter.

Perhaps, in part, this was the reason I stopped clicking away at the keys and jotting down thoughts and dreams. The reasons why are meaningless now, I’ve taken this leap of faith and as sure as God gives me the words I share, He will continue to provide inspiration . . .

Crystal R. Cook