Before we begin, let me drop a simple disclaimer that I shouldn’t need to drop, but will do so anyway because this is the internet. This article is my own opinion and a general statement. It doesn’t apply to everyone, it’s not meant to, so on and so forth.
With that said, on with the show!
“Writers are crazy.”
We’ve heard this statement or something echoing it for a long time. Hell, must of us writers will admit that we are more than a little strange in our ways of thinking and that we might not entirely be of sound mind.
It’s also not true.
Most writers you will ever meet are perfectly well rounded and normal individuals. We’re maybe a bit more insular or private in our lifestyles, but nothing you could generally label as, “Serial killer waiting to happen.”
That part I said about being insular and private? It ties partly in with our creativity. We are people who silently refused to ignore the creative imagination we had as children.
Instead, we nurtured our imaginations as we grew up. Using films, books, games, and music, we helped feed it.
This can be applied to all artists. Whether you’re a musician, author, illustrator, filmmaker, etc. At some point or another, people in these lines of work ignored the call for us to stop fantasizing.
The reason people like (and including) myself say writers are crazy is because we are the ones who think of fictitious details. It is not seen as an entirely normal habit for grown adults outside of artistic fields to constantly be thinking of things such as those. Thus, we get labeled as being crazy or abnormal either by other people or even ourselves.
Take for example, my current work on Project: Ember (Under a Falling Sky/Flames & Ashes). I’ve had to think up the people, places, history, cultural habits, technology, countries, and so on that populate the world of the story. All of that, I’ll add, is in lead-up to the actual story of the book.
The first draft is almost done, by the way.
As you can imagine, when broken down like that, it takes a considerable amount of time and thought to create a fictitious world. As the saying goes, “If you want to make a pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.”
This also ties in to how a number of people usually see us as quiet or privately kept. We can easily get lost in thought, so it’s not uncommon for us to seem slightly distant or shut in. We’ve got to keep track of the details in multiple worlds after all.
The truth is that most writers you ever meet are normal, well adjusted people. They might often be the creative thinkers in their households or workplaces, but they’re no more crazy than the neighbor you know who collects stamps.
Depending on how obsessively they collect those stamps, maybe even less so.
So, yeah. I’ve got the fate of worlds, the live of numerous people, and the rules of reality in my hands. I think of creative ways to tell, cause, or allude to people’s tragedies or redemption.
I’m also not crazy, nor are a lot of other writers. We’ll just tell you that we are just so you don’t look at us quite as funny when we start talking about it all.