Are writers all psychos?

Ernest Hemingway drank.  Edgar Allen Poe was depressed.  Many authors (and other artists) have committed suicide.

Are we all crazy?  I say proudly, "Hell, yes."

We're not all just clinically crazy.  I have a few diagnoses under my belt, and as stated before, am pretty well medicated in order to function in daily life (i.e. work and raise a child).  If I didn't have better living through chemistry, I'd be a basket case.  Well, worse than I am.

But who of us aren't totally "healthy"?  How many of us fake through life acting healthy, when deep down we're walking pits of abysmal hell?  How many of us are keeping up the stock prices of Big Pharma?

What we have in spades that not many others seem to have is passionate emotion.  We not only feel, we FEEL, to our very bones.  We watch TV and we get immersed into the story (which is why I usually don't watch movies or TV).  We read and we become invested in the character, yelling at him or her, feeling the way they feel, regardless of how well the writer wrote the scene (sometimes) - unless it's so bad that we get thrown literally against the fourth wall.

When we write, we become invested in that piece.  We take out a part of our souls and put it on the page/screen.  We suffer when we do this.  It's painful to do this.  But we do it because we like it and are driven to do it. 

Why is it painful?  Because we have The Real World (tm) to deal with.  And that place is totally unforgiving of us authors.  Others take our pieces and judge.  If it's good, we're bolstered.  If it's bad, we slit our wrists in the bathtub.

Not only does The Real World (tm) abuse our pieces, but it abuses us, too.  Many people do not understand us, what drives us to write, to tell stories.  Non-artists think we're freaks, layabouts, do-nothings.  However, when I try to explain to my non-writing father that I write for the same reason that he builds things, there's a bit more of a connection.  (He still doesn't understand why I have such a pressing need to spend so much time on the computer, but I digress.)

So I wonder, are we the psychos, or is the world?

The End

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