Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Insanity of Being a Writer...and Why I Love It

Quote for the day: "I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity." Edgar Allen Poe

You know, this is something my writer friends and I discuss frequently...the insanity of our calling. We hear voices, we stay up for days at a time so we can furiously type away at our keyboards, the story battering its way out of our minds whether we want it to or not; we mutter to ourselves about our storylines, characters, plots, and chapters as we do the daily chores we must, and we are oblivious to the chaos that ensues when we are so wrapped up in our imaginary worlds that the real world ceases to exist.

Until I found my fabulous friends on Querytracker (and then RallyStorm) I was pretty sure I was the only one that couldn't sleep at night because my characters were too busy arguing in my head. It's good to know I'm not alone. I don't drink, smoke, or do drugs and never have...but as I began my first novel, I suddenly had a clear insight into why writers are stereotypically dependent on such things. Most writers I know are, at the very least, huge fans of Tylenol PM or some other sort of sleep aid - often it is the only way to quiet your mind long enough to get some sleep. :)

Writing is a crazy, frustrating, agonizing, nerve-wracking way to live (and don't even get me started on querying - that's a weeks worth of posts all by itself!)...but it also has brought me more joy and sense of accomplishment than anything else I have ever done (with the exception of my children). Most of us don't write merely because we want to...we do it because we HAVE to. There is nothing like writing the perfect scene; or spending a year editing a book to realize it is finally "good enough" (never perfect...nope, there is always something I find that could use some changing).

Bottom line, as crazy as I sometimes feel, I would never want to do anything else. My "long intervals of horrible sanity" are merely waiting periods until another idea strikes and I can dive head long into my "insanity." And ahhh, it's a grand experience!

Are you writer-tastically insane? Do you enjoy it? :D

7 comments:

the cautionary tale said...

yes I am. In fact, I get mad when my characters STOP talking to me. Great post!

Babydoll said...

Absolutely! I can't stand to not have a story running through my head at all times. THAT's when I feel REALLY crazy. lol

Shari said...

Definitely, except I procrastine doing it sometimes when I'm stuck.

Indigo said...

Love Poe and this quote. So true on so many levels. For me? I think I appreciate the voices of my characters even more not being able to hear. I can at the very least create conversation in my head. *Laughing* Okay that probably made me seem more insane than normal. (Hugs)Indigo

Jack LaBloom said...

Some people might claim I'm insane, but only my fictional characters know for sure how deeply it really goes.

Áine Tierney said...

Great post. I'm not a night time writer myself - early morning is where it is at for me!

storytreasury said...

All that happens to me too. I used to worry about it, but now I just let it go and consider it part of being a writer.