Because writers are crazy #MFRW


Imagine that — we’re halfway through the year-long Marketing for Romance Writers blog hop. For week 26, the writing prompt is:

Why I Write

Fame? Fortune?

Uh, no. The latter would be welcome, of course, but there are easier and more surefire ways to get rich. Robbing banks. Printing your own money. Becoming a CEO.

The real reason I write has to do with the kind of person I am.

No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness. — Aristotle

Now, I’m not saying I’m insane. Of course not!  It’s just that some of the things I do kind of court madness. The link between creativity and insanity has long captivated people, going all the way back to Aristotle.

The creative person is both more primitive and more cultivated, more destructive, a lot madder and a lot saner, than the average person. — Frank Barron

The idea of the mad artist, the tormented musician or the tortured writer continues to hold a strong grip on the human imagination.Seeing that I’m a musician as well as an author that makes me doubly mad, right?

The extreme limit of wisdom–that is what the public calls madness. — Jean Cocteau

While writing a book, I spend hundreds of hours getting to know people who don’t exist. You have to admit, that’s madness.

The truly creative person is one who can think crazy. — Frank Goble

It’s fairly common for children to have imaginary friends. But adults? That is thinking crazy!

What garlic is to salad, insanity is to art. — Augustus Saint-Gaudens

I don’t care much for garlic. The “insanity” that is art, though — that I can’t do without. So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to return to my office with its nice soft walls and commune with the nonexistent.

Click here to check out the other nut jobs taking part in this blog hop — and help me celebrate my SF romance, Escapee, becoming a RONE finalist.

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26 comments

  1. I like that “while writing I get to know hundreds of people that don’t exist” that is so true! And made me smile. When you think of of like that… we really are crazy, hanging out with all these imaginary people :). But I like it.

    1. Yes, it can be a very pleasant form of ‘madness’ — although I hope everyone realizes this is tongue-in-cheek. Some mad folk are creative, and some creative folk are mad, but not always. Not even most of the time.

      1. I think everyone will understand. Here’s a question for you Ed. Are you mad? Or creative? Or a bit of both?

      2. I like to think I’m creative and sane . . . but what do I know?

    2. One of my favorite sayings is ‘Writer’s Block: When your imaginary friends refuse to speak to you!’

      Very true!

      1. Yes, that’s a great quotation.

      2. Haha. That’s a good one! Like that too. So true.

  2. Sherry Lewis · · Reply

    And we get to know people who don’t exist better than many people who actually do exist. Yep…crazy!

    1. If you’re doing it right, you NEED to know your characters better than you know most people.

  3. LOL it’s true. We do spend a lot of time talking to and getting to know people that don’t really exist. They are our imaginary friends of sorts.They can be just as fun or frustrating to be around as any living breathing person.

    1. You find them frustrating, eh? Have you tried using an (imaginary) bullwhip on them?

  4. Cathy Brockman · · Reply

    I love your quotes! I talk to non existent people all the time LOL My husband learned to ignore me!

    1. I think that talking to imaginary people used to be more shocking before Bluetooth phones. Nowadays, you just assume folks are on the phone.

      1. Cathy Brockman · ·

        Glad you mentioned that Ed. I can claim that lol

  5. LOL, Ed, great post. Love the quotes. And yes, creativity is a fine madness.

    1. Some of my reviewers don’t think my madness is so fine. Sigh. 😉

  6. Lol – thanks, Ed, for a funny read! Well done and 89% accurate for this writer, that’s for sure. We’re supposed to be depressed and suicidal, but I don’t think I’ve ever reached such a point in this journey (yet).

    1. Depressed, suicidal and alcoholic. Don’t forget that we’re supposed to be alcoholic, too (says this teetotaler).

  7. I love the quotes, Ed! Great post!

    1. This is the first and probably last time I’ve let Aristotle write a blog post for me.

  8. Aristotle also said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” I figure we’re all amazing, excellent authors and any reviewers who don’t agree just aren’t as evolved as we are! 🙂

    1. I like how both of you think, Robin and Ari!

  9. From one nut job (coffeetotaler) to the other, I thank you for this post. 🙂 You’ve chosen a nice selection of quotes, Ed. Have a crazy day!

    1. My day shall indeed be crazy, because I’m going to write!

  10. So true- and I love the quotes! So the question is are we crazy so we write – or writing makes us crazy/ 😉 Or perhaps a little bit of both.

    1. Unless you’re one of the rare ones who suffer from one of the mental afflictions that have been shown to *possibly* increase productivity (Bipolar, schizophrenia, OCD, etc), I’d say that writing makes us odd, not crazy. I think these quotes speak more to the public’s image of writers, or geniuses in general.

      I could do a whole other post about how romance writers are generally exempt from these stereotypes because “everyone knows” romance is so trivial and easy to write that it requires no spark of genius. Look at how the denigrating way the romance author in Romancing the Stone was portrayed: neurotic, fearful, afraid to engage with life, daydreaming about a man because she didn’t have one of her own . . . in other words, the furthest thing possibly from a driven genius compelled to tell Her Truth.

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