A writer’s mind is a dangerous place to be. I think it would be almost at an identical level with a person in an insane asylum. With all the constant stories swirling around, little side plots that may or may not be relevant, the characters that want you to bring them back from the dead, and all of the voices yelling at you because you haven’t written anything in days, you could easily find yourself wandering around lost in there.
In my opinion, in order to be a writer, you have to have a certain mind. You have to be able to visualize events playing out in your head. You have to be able to create characters that the reader will not only fall in love with, but will remember long after they set down the book. You have to be able to deal with and ignore the five different voices in your head telling you to go on Facebook, check your Twitter account, or even check your email the second you sit down to start writing. You also sometimes get the voices of your characters nagging you in your head when you take an extended hiatus for the book, because a writer is only “a bunch of different people trying to be one person.”
When people hear the word creative, most people automatically think of artists, painters, sculptors, and all people associated with “visual” arts. All the art students got voted most creative in my senior year mock elections and when asked to define “art” most people in my humanities class responded referring only to types of visual art. Most people’s first thought is rarely ever writers. However, I would like to change that concept. I think that writers are the most creative people of all.
Not to discredit those who are painters and such, because it does take a great amount of talent to visualize a picture in their head and then replicate it on paper. However, a writer is constantly stretching their mind beyond its limits, always thinking of different and unique plot elements. Planning the big reveal of a story is not easy, and making sure the reader will react to it is even harder. That comes with a lot of planning, and also creativity in how a writer presents the plot twists and conflicts. Not the everyday person would think the identity of the killer would be decided by an acorn left in the bathroom that somehow contradicted with a suspect’s alibi who claimed he lived by the ocean. Even as ridiculous as that sounds, great writers make it work so it makes complete sense while also leaving the reader crying.
I also think that we’re all criminally insane to a certain extent, even if it’s only a small amount, but we have the capacity to aim that energy towards writing, and not at actual people. Being a writer is one of the only jobs where it is encouraged to be slightly insane. There’s no fun in it if you’re not. You might have already heard never to check a writer’s search history, and I will advise you to not do it. It’s almost constantly filled with searches on tasteless poison, different models of guns, modern torture practices, and how long it takes a person to bleed to death. If you happen to stumble upon something like this on any writer’s computer, don’t be alarmed and call the cops, it’s just part of the job. Think of it as only research. You have to do research with any other job you do, and that’s what it is. Everyone is just jealous because research for writers is way more fun than other jobs.
I’ve spoken to enough writers to know that some will find joy in making the perfect partner of their character only to find even more joy in ripping them apart at the most unfortunate time and having either one of both of them dead by the end of the story. Writers will laugh like a mad man when they kill off the main character of their story, and will give them the most gruesome death, knowing how it will rip the reader’s heart to shreds( there are also a lot of people, myself included who will cry when we do this). I think this is where you will start to believe me when I say we’re all insane. I once got an edit back from an editor correcting me on the fact that a human body when preserved and rationed the right way will sustain a person for a month, and not just a couple of weeks as I had stated. I found the edit amusing, while also helpful. I wouldn’t want to have wrong information in my story and offend the cannibals of the world now would I?
We throw all rules of grammar and spelling out the window if we see it fit. People might think that we’re the grammar Nazis of the world, but we can be the complete opposite when we want to be. Whoever said that you can’t start a sentence with “and” or “because.” I will do what I want. Why you ask? Because I can. Spell check will try to tell us it’s not a sentence, but we won’t care the slightest bit. The green squiggly line will get on the nerves of people with OCD, but other than that, a writer will push through it. We defy the normal boring spellings of names in today’s society. Who said that you can’t spell Kayla like “Cayla” or “Kaela”. Variety makes things memorable and interesting. When characters are from the south, we will defy the rules of spelling and grammar and throw around words like “youngen”, “gunna”, “’nother” and “yer” for the sake of dialogue. It sounds way more authentic that way in the first place.
And no one has really known true frustration until they have dealt with the horrible disease that is writers block. It sneaks up on you from behind and has your mind working overtime trying to think of ways to fix the problem, while ultimately getting nowhere. You may have a perfectly amazing idea for a story plotted out in your head, but can’t figure out the way to put it down in words once you go to actually write it. You might be one hundred pages into you novel only to realize that you have no way for the main character to confront the antagonist so you reread the hundred pages over and over trying to come up with ways to fix it only to realize the only way of resolving the problem is to rewrite the entire thing. Writers block is what drives us to actual insanity, and not the good kind that helps us as writers.
Overall, yes we are a bit crazy, and no we will not deny that we sometimes go slightly off the edge in order to do our job correctly. We write because we feel there are stories that need to be told, and we are the only ones who have the ability to tell them. We have the ability to move someone to tears with only words and also the ability to bring a reader to absolute rage the next chapter. We are our own race of people. I am a writer. And I am proud to be one.