The Madness Of The Writer

I have saying I use from time-to-time. I’m not quite sure where it came from, but I’ve used it for years: I don’t suffer from madness, I enjoy every moment. A therapist I knew briefly some years ago found it hilarious, which was slightly scary.

However, it does contain some truth. I strongly suspect that most writers may be mad in one way or another. As I learn more about the wordcraft involved, I find myself also learning  more about the whys and wherefores of being human. Writing a story is very much a playground. Sometimes a character misbehaves merely because the writer wonders “what if?”. What if the princess spurns her prince? What if she was actually his sister? What if the hero was on the wrong quest all along? A lot of fan fiction comes out of “what if?”.

But a writer will also experience the sharp difference between acceptance of their person and acceptance of their work. Or more likely, rejection of their writing.

For me, this has taught me a lot about acceptance and understanding how I tick. There really is no point in denying your inner weirdo just to satisfy someone else’s picture of how you should behave. I have a failed relationship behind me where I learnt that. But your inner weirdo is important. Story telling needs lots of strange, bizarre and just plain mad ideas to feed into it.

And since a writer really has to embrace their madness,  sometimes it overflows from their writing. No-one should be surprised by this. Least of all other writers.

(As a postscript, the other day I chanced across this link of writers being silly. I can identify with this. I wear a cloak in winter, after all. My favourite is Susan Sontag.)

4 Comments

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4 responses to “The Madness Of The Writer

  1. Oh yes, I am sure we are insane. I am proud card-carrying insane-writer member. I mean, the first thing I should think when waking up in an empty bed is “Where is my husband?” as opposed to the daily ritual of “Yes! Alone! I can write some while in bed!”

  2. I love your inner weirdo and it’s wonderful that you accept it and are at peace with expressing it in your writing! I long ago realised that I am a quirky individual, and have learned to embrace that. Who wants to be normal especially when it feeds your creativity? And if other people don’t get that, then that’s their loss. I say we all keep being totally utterly bonkers together!

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  4. Well said! We all have to be somewhat mad to do what we do.

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