The 12: Honesty

by The Writer

Step 1: Honesty

Writer’s Rehab

After many years of denial, recovery can begin when with one simple admission of being powerless over the craft of writing — for writer’s & their friends and family.

I am powerless over writing, and because of it my life had become unmanageable.  I’ve taken the label of ‘writer’ for over twelve years and during that time I have written things I’m not proud of.  I have sacrificed time with family, time with friends and other close personal and professional relationships.  I have allowed my pride and arrogance, and insecurities to hijack and affect my work.  As a result of my pursuit to become a writer, I’ve also taken up the distinction of becoming a ‘starving artist’.  My obsession with my title blinded me to other career opportunities which could have provided a more stable life.  And it also skewed my perception of others who may not have chosen the ‘artful path’, causing me to become more judgemental.  As a result of my misguided perceptions of following my passion, I realized the many difficulties of sustaining a balanced life after facing a series of disappointing rejections.  Life is difficult no matter what path you take, but my belief was the ‘problem’ wasn’t me, and the rejections from industry professionals weren’t accurate.  I continued with blind ambition, which only served to take me further off the path I was certain I was following.  Holding the notion that ‘hard work’ would soon pay off, I finally came to realize what I was doing was not exactly hard work; the real hard work is being honest with myself.  The challenge in front of me is great because to be honest with myself, I must ‘crack open’ my ego to get past my pride to find my humility.  With a new goal in mind, I can achieve a new lifestyle that is more realistic and is created from a place of creativity.  Having been addicted to writing for over 12 years I’m aware I can’t control when I ‘quit’, and writing about this journey would seem to be a conflict of interest; however, finding a true balance in life means creating a harmonious paradox– Without one, life itself can’t exist.


The 12-Step Program is a set of guiding principles (accepted by members as ‘spiritual principles,’ based on the approved literature) outlining a course of action for recovery from addiction, compulsion, or other behavioural problems. Originally proposed by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) as a method of recovery from alcoholism, the Twelve Steps were first published in the book Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How More Than One Hundred Men Have Recovered from Alcoholism in 1939. The method was then adapted and became the foundation of other twelve-step programs. It works for a slew of organizations, I think it should work for writers (who are often times closet alcoholics).  My adaptation of the 12-steps are just an interpretation of my reality, and should not be tried at home, but if you’ve been affected by a writer’s behaviour, it couldn’t hurt to share this with them.