We all have our guilty pleasures, right? But not all of us are big enough to confess to our shameful addictions.

Well, I’m confessing mine–right here, right now. They say it’s the first step to recovery, and God knows, I need to recover.

I am addicted to American Idol.

Addicted.

To American Idol.

And that’s not all. I’m also addicted to gossip magazines.

People, USOK and even In Touch.

I’m so ashamed.

If you have recovery advice, I’d appreciate it. I’ve managed to limit my gossip magazine perusal to lunch hour, but the American Idol thing is way out of control. I not only watch the show; I read several different blogs that review it and analyze the performances.

I like to think it’s the “story” aspect that appeals to me. Gossip magazines are really just tabloid soap operas. The cast is limited to about ten recurring characters, and the writers make up fabulous stories about their tragic and scandalous lives. There’s a tiny kernel of journalistic truth at the heart of it, but for the most part, what we’re reading in those publications is a serial Hollywood novel that has millions enthralled.

In fact, I could make a case for gossip magazines as training for commercial fiction writers. A lot of the people who read these magazines don’t read novels, yet they’re glued to the Jen vs. Angie story and the tragic tale of Britney Spears. If I could just bottle that fascination, I’d have it made.

And American Idol has the same kind of appeal. A cast of twelve “kids”, singing their smarmy hearts out, vying for fame and fortune.

Both have all the elements a story needs–compelling characters who have to overcome conflicts to reach their goals.

So really, I’m not wasting my time. I’m learning plotting and story structure.

See? I can rationalize anything.