Writing, Depeche Mode, and Other Obsessions

Depeche mode groupie memoir and book

My view for most of the past weekend.

I haven’t written in several years — at least not on this blog — and I haven’t worked on my writing-writing in what seems like eons. That changed this weekend, which I entered by digging into the first draft of my memoir and from which I emerged with a second draft proudly in hand.

One weekend. That’s all it took to complete a project I’d been procrastinating about since I completed grad school. Getting only eight total hours of sleep didn’t faze me, either. When I first hunkered down on the couch with my binder full of notes from another author friend, I thought I’d get through a few chapters at most. But soon 4AM had rolled around and I hadn’t even heard it knocking. I’d forgotten what it was like to immerse myself in writing, and now that I’d once again tasted it, I was re-hooked.

After punching out the rest of the book the next day, I decided I should heed some of my own advice to said author friend and begin laying the virtual marketing groundwork for the book — trolling message boards, starting a Pinterest board about my obsession, tweeting the occasional 140-character DM-themed post. I started my homework in the morning. Fourteen hours later, I had a problem.

As most of my friends know, much of my memoir is about my teenage obsession with Depeche Mode, which over the years has (had) mostly faded. I haven’t been as OCD about buying every version of the t-shirts sold at concerts, I don’t own every single released, and I even missed one of their tours. I’d slowly weened myself off my musical meth, and I was back to living a somewhat respectable life in which few of the acquaintances I’ve made over the last dozen or so years even know that I have the Violator album cover tattooed on my back.

But in doing my homework, I’ve also done that one line of cocaine that I’d avoided for so long. That one sniff sent me back down the rabbit hole of band obsessiveness, and I soon found myself devouring every byte of information I could find — and there’s been a lot I’ve missed over the last decade or so. I feel like I should check myself into a 12-step program, as I can already feel the urge to look up long-forgotten Modiana that I’d spent my formative years memorizing: What track number is “I Want You Now” again? (Track 7.) In what magazine had they placed the ad that eventually led them to Alan Wilder? (Melody Maker.) What London street was Fletch’s Gascogne restaurant on? (Blenheim Terrace.) Because all of this is once again really, really important. To me, at least.

And there’s still at least one more draft to go. And a title to decide. And cover to design. So there’s a long, seductive road of temptation that lies ahead of me. Wish me luck.

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