View Full Version : You gotta be crazy to want to write...right?

02-04-2005, 05:34 AM
A year ago, a guy named Liu, who has this great Chinese restaurant in my hometown, asked me if I thought Stephen King was nuts. I wondered why, of all people, he posed that question to me, while boxing my Harbor Chicken and strawberry shrimp wontons.

“Come on, you’re a writer, don’t you have to be kind of crazy?”

I kind of liked what Liu asked me, and went home with the idea that I must be. If that is how we define crazy, I say to anyone, bring it on. Of course, I don’t believe a person has to be crazy to want to write, but I think we are somewhat self-possessed to do it. As long as I can remember I wanted to be a writer, and the stories I spun in school got me into big trouble. My second grade teacher had the audacity to comment on my report card that I told too many stories in class and distracted her and the other students.

Oh, I fought back, and for years I kept my stories locked away in my head, where I could retreat, adventure, and no one would mind. But it backfired and became a virtual fortress, built out of my own fear to try.

Years later, a bizarre twist of fate would change that, when at a local fair, I stopped to read my destiny at the entrance to a purple and yellow tent: Palm Readings by Madame Caroline. I whimsically thought to myself, Okay, Slick; let’s see if your hands are going to make you rich…

Naturally, the place had the usual trappings of a palm reader’s lair, complete with silk tapestries, folding table, smoking brazier, and large crystal ball. The scent of patchouli wavered heavily in the air. A small boned woman in her forties with coppery skin, piercing indigo eyes, and slightly overdressed for her role as a carnival fortune-teller, stared at me from far chair. The other seat was invitingly empty.

“Welcome cher,” she said in voice that dripped of honey, and prickled the hair on my legs and underarms.

So I may be embellishing my true story. After all, I am a fiction writer. You might be thinking of Liu’s question right now, and answering it for me.

I tell you, to this very day, I look at my hands for the crisscrossing lines that hinted at the writer within me. An on-line course, critique groups, studying with authors seemed the right idea at the time, and became the keys to unlock a lifetime of words. They poured out, and I went from writing nada to thousands of them a week. Just hit page 438 of my first novel, with just five chapters to go to those last two I long to pen, and, at the same time, fear…

The End.

Why do I want to write? Beyond fate, in this self-possessed mind of mine, I won’t be satisfied until I do. Oh yeah, I’m a little crazy too. How about you?

02-05-2005, 08:26 AM
Cool story all the way around. I know what you mean. People always seem to think that if you write you are either crazy and/or possessed and just surely you have a whole slew of bad habits, ie drinking etc. :hat

I figure the generalization of labeling as writers as any one thing just silly. But at times I seem why people do ask. :rollin Sometimes we're all just alittle bit crazy.

02-05-2005, 10:36 PM
I only look crazy when I am talking to my characters, loudly, at a public and crowded place. Now I carry an earbug, even when I'm not carrying my cell phone....

Darnit, I can't do anything my hair, you know!

02-05-2005, 11:12 PM
Yeah I guess you do gotta be a little crazy to want to be a writer. After all, no SANE person would expose themselves to the agonies of rejection, the woeful torture of writer's block or the crippling sting of idea theft.

Eh, come on. It ain't THAT bad. ;)