It’s true I’ve often alluded to how you have to be crazy to be a writer. Most of us tend to be introverts, yet there’s something exhibitionist about giving others a glimpse into the madness of our minds. And if you stop and think about it, several categories from the Abnormal Psychology files do seem to apply to writers. For instance:
Schizophrenia: Of course we hear voices and see visions. How else do you think we come up with all those descriptions and plot twists?
Obsessive-Compulsive: This manifests as thinking about our story while we’re driving, showering, or pretending to listen to our spouse. During certain stages of the craft it can degenerate to distracted driving, skipping showers, and not realizing the spouse has left the building.
Bipolar: We will often begin a project with high hopes and great anticipation, but about halfway through the first draft suspect it’s really just a steaming pile of poo.
Catatonia: Staring at the computer screen or across the room for longer than we’d like to admit.
Dissociative: More the result of being obsessive-compulsive, we sometimes blur the lines between our works in progress and reality. This can manifest as forgetfulness, or like the time I called one of our kids by the name of a character in a story I was working on.
Bibliophilia: This one’s a no-brainer. We love books. We love books so much we think there should be more books. We read books, and our to-read pile of books just keeps getting taller. When we go to heaven we expect to read those books we didn’t get to while still on Earth.
Those were what I could think of off the top of my head, but you could probably come up with others. Like many things in life, you’ve got to be at least a little crazy to be a writer.
While I’m here I’ll give a quick update on my next book, part three of the four-parter End of an Age series (I like to call it a quadrilogy, but I am a little crazy). It’s in finishing stages, but this pandemic thing has made me decide to push off its debut for a little while, more in the summer than the spring. I’ll keep you posted….