Writers are a step above many individuals when it comes to being disturbed, mentally unstable, and even the dreaded “C” word, crazy. On the outside many writers seem quite normal, even friendly and outgoing. It is on the inside that many upon many writers, particularly freelancers and fiction writers, are absolutely unhinged. While there are many reasons why, there are several listed here that can better explain the disturbing inner workings of a writer’s mind.
1) We destroy whatever we create. Admittedly every writer pulls their main characters from the ether just to send them back to whatever oblivion they came from. The purpose of creating a character is rarely ever to keep them alive and around indefinitely. Readers would eventually get bored and ask when the next big thing is expected to come along. In order to save our creations we must eventually destroy them.
2) We are essentially insane. No matter if a writer is a “nice person” on the outside and even boisterous and friendly at most times, on the inside our minds are typically as chaotic as the stories that make it to the page. The controlled madness that is given to the readers to peruse and judge is only the dried out portion of what awaits within the tortured hallways of our minds, while the juicy stuff continues to replenish itself.
3) We have to write. It’s not a mild yearning, nor even a wistful longing. It is a COMPULSION. If you have ever spent hour upon hour staring at a lit screen with small type attempting to discover the ins and outs of your own insanity you have likely come to realize that writing is no longer just a hobby. It is a burning need that pulls at the heart strings and cramps the guts until the idea that is almost physically stuck in your body is finally allowed its freedom. There is no halfway point between not wanting to write and having to at this point, you must write or descend into your own madness.
4) Caffeine and alcohol become your best buddies. It’s true, so true. If you don’t prefer the hard stuff then you will likely turn to the go-juice that has sustained so many college students and writers alike throughout the years. The lifeblood of a strung-out, manic writer is the same nectar that millions cannot start their morning without.
5) There is little if any easy, REAL money in writing. Forget what you see in the advertisements about stay at home moms making thousands of dollars a week, and especially forget the idea that you might be that one in a million writer who gets a lucky break and becomes an overnight millionaire. It takes roughly twenty years to become an overnight success, and even then nothing is assured. You will work for pennies on the dollar and find new ways to live on what seems only enough to purchase a kids meal at the local drive-thru. Why will you do it? Because you have crossed the threshold and no longer recognize the term “sanity”.
There are a great many reasons why writers are perhaps some of the most insanely unbalanced individuals walking the world today, but these are just a few. Remember though, if you happen to know a writer, just assume that the inside of their head is a dark and twisted place you would pay to avoid. It’s better that way.