Adrenaline Junkie

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Bungee jumpers, racecar drivers, skydivers, and other extreme sport enthusiasts all have something in common. We all know what it is…no, it’s not insanity. It’s an adrenaline rush – propelled by the fight or flight response.

I admit that if I had the opportunity to zoom around a racetrack in a 1969 Ford Mustang Mach I my hands couldn’t grip the steering wheel fast enough. I’m sure there’s a perfectly good physiological reason for the need for speed, but I’ll leave it to the clinical psychologists to explain that. The point is humans love to have a little thrill from time to time.

What? You claim you’re not one of those people? You don’t take risks? You don’t put yourself in the thrill-seeking category? I say, “Baloney!” If you’ve ever been inclined to ride a roller coaster – well, you’re in the group. If you’ve ever driven over a hill just a bit too fast so you can feel that funny tickle in your belly – well, you’re one of them. If you’ve ever dared to have a sexual escapade in a public place – oh, you’re definitely on the list of thrill seekers!

I’ve discovered I get a little adrenaline rush when I’m sitting perfectly still, except for the tapping of the keys on the keyboard. Believe it or not, when I’m writing well and I feel it and know it, I get an amazing rush of adrenaline. My fingers can’t type fast enough, my heartbeat quickens, and I’m so hyped up after that first draft it takes me at least an hour to decompress. I jabber non-stop to anyone around me and I’m full of excess energy that I must find a way to burn off. I’m curious to know if my fellow writers have the same experience. It’s kind of funny to think of us writer types being lumped in with bungee jumpers, but if the rush fits…

8 responses »

  1. First of all, I appreciate the big font. Us old, coke-bottled glasses (thank god for contacts) folks need that. Second of all, I do indeed get the post-writing manic rush of which you speak. Glad to see I’m not alone!

  2. Writing first draft stuff isn’t quite like that for me. Sometimes it’s like I find a zone and I’m not really thinking about the words that are coming out. Other times it’s almost a kind of tense experience as I dig deep and try to find good stuff. And then lots of times my inner editor is trying to judge the words as they appear on-screen for the first time, but I tell myself that’s about as useful as judging how good a hamburger tastes while you’re still gathering your ingredients and waiting for the grill to warm up, then keep going.

    • I’m so glad you shared your insights Mike – so many times our inner editor tries to kill something before it has a chance to thrive! Your analogy is spot on. Thanks so much 🙂

  3. I think that’s why I own a motorcycle but there is also something strangely zen about it. It’s just a novel experience I suppose.

    Still not a fan of rollercoasters though.

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