Are All Writers Crazy?

I’ve been writing more and more lately, and I’m starting to think it’s making me a little bit crazy. Crazy in a good way, but still crazy. For example, I can’t turn off my brain. The other day I had so many ideas while I was driving that I literally had to record a video so I could speak the ideas, have a record of them, and not forget. I couldn’t type them in an e-mail to myself (my standard method of remembering things) and I didn’t want to pull over so I just let the video roll. It was a nice shot of my steering wheel as I babbled to myself. After I got home and watched it I realized that I am, in fact, a little bit crazy. I’m not “cut off my own ear” crazy like Van Gogh, so there’s that. But at the same time you’re probably not going to find many accountants or lawyers recording videos for themselves. 

Then I got to thinking, are all writers crazy? I feel like you have to be to put your soul out for other people to read, react to, and judge. You can write your innermost feelings and then have someone tell you that you’re a complete moron or that you’re a horrible writer. That takes guts, and maybe you have to be a little nutty to put yourself in that position. Also, to be creative you have to constantly have ideas flowing through your mind which seems to suggest a tiny bit of the crazy. Or at least overanalytical. Not necessarily bad crazy, just creative crazy. Yes, I think all writers are varying degrees of it. Good crazy, creative crazy, intense crazy, lots of feelings crazy, bad crazy, batshit crazy. Yep. We all are. Because where there is good writing there are lots of feelings/experiences, and where there are lots of feelings and experiences there is a tendency for the cuckoo for coca puffs. I think the same goes for all creative people.

On a slightly unrelated note, I found this post featuring pictures of famous writers’ bedrooms. I thought it was really cool. I love Ernest Hemingway’s bedroom. He and I are on the same page in terms of interior design. I got to doing some Googleing about ole Ernest, and found that he has some amazing, interesting, thought-provoking and inspirational quotes. He was also just a really fascinating guy.  I know it’s Wikipedia, but….it’s got lots of good info. A few of my favorite Hemingway quotes:

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

Wow. Love that.

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”

I agree with this fully. Listening is an art. Few people are truly great listeners, and it’s an important and valued skill.

Then we have this, “Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”

I wish I had heard this quote in college. Whoopsy doopsy.

Finally, “Write drunk; edit sober.”


Do you think all writers/creative types are a little bit crazy? Creative crazy or batshit crazy or somewhere in between? Are you a little bit crazy when you’re at your most creative?

Speaking of writing, I just wrote two new pieces, one for The College Crush called “The Science of Finding Your Soulmate” and another for Lifetime’s The Conversation called “Post-Grad Evolution and the Myth of Adulthood” and I’d love it if you’d check them out! Thanks guys!

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  1. I definitely use the voice record feature on my Evernote when I’m driving, I always have the best ideas when I can’t write them down!

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