It’s hard to explain really, but most any writer will likely pit their madness against that of another for one simple reason: it doesn’t end. Imagine sitting at the edge of a lake so dark that seeing the bottom is impossible, though somehow you get the feeling the trying to find the bottom would be a rather dangerous and uncertain undertaking. Yeah, that’s the PC version of it.
Madness is to some people a malady, a horrible disease that takes those who are sane and twists and turns them into something that is less than human and recognizably monstrous in a way. Mad people tend to be thought of as disturbed, mentally unstable, so far apart from reality that they can’t find their way back.
That’s where a lot of writers tend to hang out.
Thinking inside the box becomes too boring.
You’ve heard this expression, ‘thinking inside the box’, yeah? It’s a known fact that many people try to think outside the box, around the box, and some even try to rethink and better the box so that it’s more inclusive or not needed at all. A writer will usually follow the first, bright, shiny idea that is floating a long ways from the box, figuring that it might lead them somewhere interesting and nothing else.
We’re not morons, we know that leaving the box is a decision and one that might take us somewhere that’s not safe, but the darkness and wilds that are outside that metaphorical box are just too tempting. Thrillseekers try this method as well, and like writers tend to find that once they gain their senses once again they seem to have forgotten how to get back to the box since they’ve lost the way. Some of us are able to do this by willpower alone, but others tend to remain in the wilds simply because it’s fun, it’s engaging, and it’s something different. We want the madness because it’s something unlike what we deal with back in the box.
It’s necessary to ground ourselves now and again.
Let’s admit it, we live in this real world and we do have physical and emotional needs that have to be met now and again. So it’s necessary to come back to the box and at least take a seat on the edge so that we can understand where we’re at while we continue to stare off into the abyss, hoping that something will stare back eventually and give us a bit of inspiration that we can use. A lot of people feel daunted by staring into the abyss, the unknown, but as writers we’re intrigued by it, we want to contemplate just what it means to be nothing, to see nothing, to write about what the nothing could possibly be, and to think that the story of nothing could go on, and on, and on…..
But like I said, we need to ground ourselves occasionally, or the life that we’ve grown used to back in the box, or at least around it, will wither away, and our story will end without having written the epic to the very end. That’s just not acceptable after all, as we want to find the story that defines our lives, we want to find the epic tale that will remain when we’re gone so that people can read it and say “whoa”, whatever that might mean.
We choose this madness, because it is the only way to cope with what we feel compelled to do.