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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Are We the Crazy Ones?

" I write only because there is a voice within me that will not be still."  ~  Sylvia Plath

Time:  7:14 AM
Word count on my current WIP:  10,515
Song on my playlist: "Gimme Shelter" by the Rolling Stones
What I'm drinking:  A medium coffee. (It's still early.)

Yeah, I know. Three posts in three days. Don't get used to it. I go back to work on Sunday and return to the 14 hour work day that will cut severely into my writing time. Then, I will probably only post once a week. But, I'm enjoying it while it lasts.

It occurred to me that writers are the only people that can get by with telling others that we have voices in our heads without it being suggested that we should be highly medicated. Think about it.

Are we crazy, brilliant, or both? 

There are some authors, that I would dare say, are totally wack-a-doodle, and others who are off the charts on the IQ scale and should join Mensa. But, I'd like to think that we "regular" writer folk fall somewhere in the middle. Beautiful minds that walk the fine line between slightly disturbed and just plain clever.

To do what we do must have elements of both. What person in their right mind would sit for hours a day typing out a make-believe scenario that is playing out in their head? Sacrificing time and energy that could be spent doing other things. (Yeah, I know... that last line made no sense to me, either. What else would we do if we weren't writing? As Gloria Steinem has said, "Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else.") I should know. I spent the last several years trying not to be a writer. And, the voices haunted me, daily. I'm truly at peace when I'm writing.

I believe the crazy begins with the voice in the head and brilliance comes from knowing how, and being willing to, release that crazy onto the paper. I don't know about you, but I'm always hearing the "voices." And, it can drive you mad if you don't release the hell hounds that are running rampant in your brain.

So, is it a gift or a curse?

It's a gift. There's a reason that we are given this gift of the "voice." That little spark of something with promise drops into our consciousness like a bug in our ear. It will buzz until we do something about it. Just as any artist who feels driven to pick up his paints, or a photographer that won't leave the house without her camera, we have been given a gift to create. 

Our ability to create something from a simple inspiration, that won't let us rest, enables us to free others through our dedication to the craft. They can escape, for a moment. They can live in another realm that lies between the two covers. They can leave their reality for a while and be transported to another time and place. You know all of this, I'm not saying anything new. I'm just approaching a topic that we've all thought about at one time or another. That being, "Am I crazy for doing this?" Yes, yes you are. But, you're also brilliant. 

Not everyone can do this thing called writing. Just like not everyone can be a physicist, or mathematician, or artist, or... whatever. You get my point. We all are gifted with brilliance in one arena or another. And whatever that "call" is, if you're not doing it, it will hunt you down and stalk you everyday until you do something about it. Plot twist... I'd venture to say that the truly crazy ones are the ones who refuse to listen to the heart-cry of their creative muse. Sanity comes when we heed. Because, that's where the joy of being in harmony with our destiny lies.

When you're doing what you know you've been born to do, when the going gets tough, and the rejection hits, you'll have the tenacity to continue on and push through. Because, you know that you are fulfilling what you were called to do. You are a writer.

So, embrace the insane brilliance that is you. You have a special gift. You have stories to tell that no one else can. See where the voices take you. In turn, you'll be taking others along for the ride on the crazy train.

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