What happens when I don't write?
Really. My brain fogs over. I become listless and snarly. My senses dull and the world loses vibrancy. The beds don't get made. The laundry might get done once in a little while, but usually only when someone runs out of socks or undies.
If I go too long without writing, it's like the vital, awake part of me dies. At that point, no one deserves to have to be around me. You know how zombie stories are meant to be sociological commentaries on how inhuman humans can become when living on autopilot? Me not writing = zombie. Careful. I might bite.
Writing isn't so much what I do as it is an integral piece of who I am. For whatever reason, I process best on paper. Some people can fit together all the pieces of their lives and experiences without first having to regurgitate it, then shoehorn it into the existing matrix of 'who I am'. Not me. Everything I've seen, felt, experienced, done, had done - it all brews and bubbles up under the surface of my skin where it will eventually turn poisonous. Even the good stuff.
If I'm not writing, it gets crowded inside me. I'm overwhelmed and deeply unhappy. Writing, whether it's journaling or putting stories together (usually a blend of both), bleeds off the toxic build up. It clears out space inside my head and body, leaving me clear - a sort of internal spring cleaning plus garage sale getting rid of old, worn out stuff. Stories need room. In order to write books, I have to clear out the mental/emotional clutter on a regular basis. Sometimes, the books themselves do that job - thus answering the question of whether real life shows up in my books. Yes. But so as you'd ever know what, where or who.
For whatever reason, filing my life away in my brain, the way most normal people do, doesn't work right for me. Writing makes everything real. Including me.
Image Source: http://mariusostrowski.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/the-wasteland-of-modern-society/