During the last serious writing jag 10-12 years ago I wrote a rough novel (167,000 words) about a lot of things, among them the anxiety of impeding parenthood (a meticulously planned process - we were following a choose-your-baby's-gender book and recording daily temperatures and environmental descriptors on a spreadsheet. Really.). First child on the way providing fuel to finish off an outline I'd been dragging around for 3-4 years.
Went through a LOT of giggling to myself, writing during lunch breaks at my corporate job. Then typing late into the night, or on weekends, back to the world. Highs of enjoying what I was doing, or at least making something, good or bad, that would last to the next day. Better than marking time by passively consuming media.
What I did NOT like was the attendant touchiness. Not about the work itself, but a higher susceptibility to perceiving slights (real or imagined) and crankiness. I had less patience for not-writing moments.
Life has been very even-keeled for me, and I didn't have the wisdom to think "Aah, this is a biochemical phase as a come-down from peak creative moments." and ride the wave out. I didn't have a coping mechanism. I could WATCH myself shorter-tempered around the house "Ugh, you mean I have to go to the STORE? Oh, the impertinence of it all!" and generally behaving above the baseline for assholery, but hadn't sorted out where that came from.
Spouse tolerated it all, didn't even remark on my change in behavior. [Note to self: Maybe I only felt assholy INSIDE, while externally I projected the same ... uh ... Oh, shit. I may be an asshole alla time.]
The start of 2010 marked another writing jag pushing now into 2011, and I find I'm monitoring exercise, diet, and dosing myself with copious amounts of dark chocolate. 119,000 words on the current project, and over halfway done. My guess is that editing will cut the final version by at least 1/3. But I'm enjoying creating something that lasts to the next day, even if crappy. And this project FEELS different. Instead of writing up a LOT of inside jokes for only myself, while in the zone of inspiration I find I'm embedding jokes for 1-2 other people. That's growth, write?