Posted by: Harold Knight | 10/02/2009

DON’T JUMP (to conclusions)

(companion piece to the posting immediately below on “Lemony Snicket”)

One of the "hypergraphia" folders on my desktop. Want to help me sort it out?

One of the "hypergraphia" folders on my desktop. Want to help me sort it out?

Writing a lot is NOT  necessarily a sign of hypergraphia. Writing so much you can’t keep track of it or remember it or know exactly why you wrote it may be a symptom. Almost always when I wake up for the day, I write. Like this. Like all the other looooooong posts on this blog. Sometimes my writing is 2 or 3 thousand words and takes so much time I don’t do my work. Sometimes it’s two or three sentences stating an idea so profound I can’t believe I wrote it. Once in a while it happens late at night (like the one below; I hate that). But it’s always urgent. It’s always a compulsion. It’s always connected to my Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (I believe). And because it’s connected to my one brain malfunction, it’s entirely possible that it feeds (or is fed by) my other malfunction, Bipolar Disorder (ask my neurologist and psychiatrist about that; I don’t know). All I know is that it is a bother. It gets in the way. Most of the time it’s no fun. Sort of like the compulsion that makes you wash your hands fifty times a day (not one of mine, thank God). Or the one that makes you count everyone in a room the number of times there are people in the room (one of mine).

So don’t assume you are hypergraphic because you write a lot.
So did Dickens and a lot of other people who were perfectly sane.
I’m not absolutely certain I am, but if it walks like a duck…

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Responses

  1. I have had one episode that fits the profile; the rest of the time, I just write a lot.
    When I wrote about it at cafe crem I played down the compulsive nature of the episode because in all honesty people have trouble enough comprehending it at all.
    Funnily enough, the episode coincided with an unusual spell of solar weather(flares, sunspots) that was pretty much unprecedented in the whole decade before it.
    New Scientist also wrote an article regarding the effects of bright natural light on creative output and that there is a connection between exposure to good light and an increase in creativity.

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  2. I absolutely believe that my most creative times have been when I was bathed in natural light, and the times I’m least creative are when I am in artificial light–especially, of course, fluorescent light. Get me outta there, QUICK!

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  3. I suffered something similar to a seizure when walking under powerlines in high winds; they were singing like Aelian harps and I stupidly stopped to listen. The following days I had some strange symptoms, including a headache beyond belief and a temporary loss of half my vision. The doctor put it down to an unusually severe migraine and i was happy to leave it like that as the process of investigation was not one I wanted to follow.
    I’ve never liked fluorescent lights.
    What’s your reaction to candle light, though?

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  4. […] find a photo of my mother. As with most of my old writings (you can imagine how many documents are saved on my desktop, some posted, most not) the documents are named by subject matter, not by date, so I had to be […]

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