The article goes on to link disorders like anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia to creativity in different forms. Photographers, artists, and dancers are all somewhat likely to have these issues. But mostly writers. There's even a nice little side box with more fun stories about writers and their suicides.
I'm pretty sure I'm not schitzo or anything, but this article still intrigued me for a number of reasons. For one thing, a similar topic of discussion came up recently in my Creative Nonfiction Writing class. One of my classmates asked something along the lines of, "Why don't these writers ever write about happy stuff?" The question was met with mixed responses. Some people claimed that when we write about not-so-happy stuff, it's to get it out so it doesn't eat us up inside. Others said it's because you can't describe feelings of happiness with the clarity that you can describe sadness. That one was interesting. I'd never thought about it before, but it actually is really difficult to put supreme joy into specific language. Yet another hypothesis was that the bad, more traumatic things stick with you longer, because you can always make new happy memories. What do you guys think? Why do a lot of writers (at least in nonfiction writing) focus on negative emotions and/or events?
Now speaking of writers and craziness and my nonfiction class, I feel I should tell you a little something about writing classes. They're full of fantastically quirky, unique, creative people. At the beginning of a new semester, I'm always horrified of my creative writing classes, because it's inevitable that everyone is going to end up reading my writing. But a few weeks in, I always realize the same thing: the class is worth taking simply for the sake of getting to interact with these awesome, delightfully messed up people. I mean, where else could I encounter a guy with a two-tone moustache, a bunch of nerdfighters, and an avid conspiracy theorist?
Actually, a recent conversation with the conspiracy theorist is another reason that the afrorementioned article piqued my interest. On Monday I wrote a satire about the "ring by spring" mentality of a lot of young, southern, Christian women, and the pressure to get married and establish a family right after college. In class we discussed our writing in small groups and Conspiracy Theory Guy was in my group. You guys know I don't talk about people on this blog, and I'm certainly not going to say anything negative about him. It's just that his response to my satire and our discussion of it bewildered me. My two groupmates were Conspiracy Theory Guy and a girl named Joanna. Joanna and I were explaining to him that "ring by spring" was an actual thing and that girls really do think like that. He thought about it for a moment, then responded. "I don't know," he said in his relaxed drawl (it's not a southern drawl; it's actually really hard to place). "I'd like to put a ring on somebody's finger by spring. It would be nice just to be that ignorant."
I'm sure I looked at him quizzically at that point, and I'm not quite sure what he said after that. It was something to do with believing that that quiet, domestic life is all there is, and how it would be nice if he could simply believe that rather than the loneliness of...I don't really know. It seems he has some kind of personal quest for truth, to find his way through all the world's deceptions and, of course, conspiracies. To find the real story behind all the lies. And in the process, he has developed this self-inflicted solitary existence.
...Of course, this was what I got from about a five or ten minute conversation with the guy, but it was intriguing nonetheless. I guess the point of it all is, creative people have weird minds and experience the world in kind of off-kilter ways. I like that, personally. It's not like everyone who's creative is some kind of mental patient...But we're all a little crazy!
What about you guys? I know you're all pretty creative, but how are you pretty crazy? Also, tell me about some of the bizarre people you've met (in a nice way, of course). Are there any conversations you've had with these people that really threw you for a loop? Leave a comment!
P.S. Here's the link to the full article. Happy reading!