Finding Control in Life: Writing to Fill a Need

Lately I have had this strange urge to shop. An unnecessary urge, because I really don’t need any new clothes right now; also I am a student who is trying to save money. All the rational explanations was present, but it couldn’t overcome this almost unrelenting desire to spend money on clothes. In the past three days I have browsed fashion magazines (which is rare for me) and “window” shopped online. I have surfed through countless fashion blogs, pinterest pages, and scrutinized street fashion… all the while telling myself no. And then struggling with my self-control.

One day I relayed my woes to my ever patient boyfriend, and he offered me a simple explanation that lit a lot of light bulbs in my head. Perhaps, I want to shop to fill a need for control in my life.

I am almost a graduate. I have spent four and a half years in Ottawa with the purpose to study. Before that I was a high school student, who left her hometown to come to Ottawa to study. Before that I was in grade school who knew that high school undoubtedly loomed ahead. Every stage of my life until this moment has been following a plan of education. However, I don’t know what the next step is. Do I want to go to grad school? College? Travel? Travel where and do what? Intern? Volunteer? Lounge around the hometown and relax for a year?

I want to shop to fulfil a need for control in my life. But what if I changed my desire? What if I supplanted the need to shop with the need to write? The “Round of Words in 80 Days” challenge so far has given me a wonderful gift. It has given me a deadline. I am writing everyday now, a feat I haven’t been able to accomplish since my days in high school. (When I used to hide a notebook on my lap and write during class because I found every class but Art and English boring)

Writing can give us control over our lives. The author always writes about their life. Whether it be non-fiction, or any genre of fiction, their ideas, their ideals, their thoughts and commentaries, their hopes, their dreams, their little quirks or grievances, are transformed, hidden, or reshaped, into their narratives, plot lines, setting and characters. When I write, I do feel control. I chose the words, I form the face of my protagonist, I shape her world.

And the finished chapters are much more satisfying to me than a shopping spree.

ROW80 news: I have finished 43 pages, with 57 more to go!


Photo reference:


7 thoughts on “Finding Control in Life: Writing to Fill a Need

  1. Good insight on the part of your boyfriend. I do a similar thing (even have done the shopping thing at points). Savor the gift and the experience… Writing is only one thing you can control though. Don’t deny yourself the joy of the others. Do enjoy the new vistas you are approaching… (and why not try a little of each?)

  2. I’m glad you figured out what was causing your desire to shop before you bought a bunch of stuff. Trust me, I’ve been there plenty of times. How does Suze Orman put it? Sometimes we spend more than when we feel less than–in this case, that would be “less than” in control of the situation. Graduating college can be scary, but it’s also a really exciting time. Here’s wishing you many adventures and good times on the road of life!

    Congrats on writing 43 pages. That’s good progress!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s