The title was a subject line of an email my best friend sent me after one of our nastier fights. A fight that I was sure would be the end all of our relationship. It is fitting for this I think, but I have given the blog owner free reign to change it to whatever he wishes.
I was asked by a very dear friend to write something for him to post in his blog, he gave me free range but knows me well enough to know that he had to mention if it was a story, to make it short. Most people I’ve known in my life would take offense to that. I don’t. It’s because he knows how detailed I am with stories that simply a blog wouldn’t be enough. So I’ve sat here most of the day and pondered over what to write about and there is one thought that keeps coming to mind…
There is a fine line that is walked every day by a writer, or an artist, anyone of a creative mindset really. It is one where you bare your soul through your stories, your art, your music, whatever it may be. You show the world where the insanity inside of you comes into something more than that, makes sense, becomes something beautiful.
I will admit to reading just about everything I can find on the process of writing as told by other writers. Learning how they got into writing and so forth. This curiosity isn’t because I genuinely want to know what makes the writer behind certain stories tick, it’s to feel as if I belong to something. The thing that I have found to be almost universal is that at the start of their writing career, when they first got published, or even had the idea to get published, most of the people that surrounded their life were not in any way knowledgeable or understanding of that process. Meaning that I’m a firm believer that unless you’re a writer, you will never understand the battles that goes on in a writer’s head or heart. Just as I, being a writer, will never understand the creative process of a musician, or a painter etc.
Case and point, I have let people both close to me and mere acquaintances read some of the things I write. Not for my own ego… okay maybe a little, but mainly to get a reaction. And someone who should be the port in any storm of my life point blank told me that the things I write leave him to question how I was raised. He doesn’t understand how anyone so ‘normal’ could write anything so morally depraved. This could have been taken a few ways. I could have quit writing, let his opinion affect everything that I hold dear about my deepest love, the gift of word. Or I could simply laugh at his opinion of seeing me as ‘normal’. I have yet to meet a writer or artist of any kind that I would describe as normal. But yet, I feel completely ‘normal’ with them. Because they all understand that there is a raging river of creative mess that runs deeper than imaginable within me.
The fact remains that even now, when I am closer than ever to getting published, that I still feel the incessant need to find out if other writers have the same hang-ups that I do, and what I’ve found is yes. No one person is better than another simply because one is creative or one is ‘normal’. Who cares if people think you’re normal or not? I live with a man who simply doesn’t get the creative process. I love that it is a side of me he can’t impeach on, can’t steal my thunder so to speak. He listens to me ramble about story ideas, or articles I’ve read about whether to self-publish or not. And while his eyes are glazing over, I know that he loves the passion in which this type of thing consumes me, even if he doesn’t fully understand it. It’s okay that he doesn’t. I’ve accepted it.
A co-worker told me the other day while talking about how ‘damaged’ people see me as because of the genres and storylines I choose to write about, that damaged people are dangerous because they know they can survive anything. It made perfect sense to me in a way it wouldn’t to many.
So my point I guess in closing is this. Yes, it is okay to feel like you are the only one going a little insane if you’re creative and not many in your social circle are. It is okay to feel like an outsider at times because of it. The best creators are the insane ones because we’re happy listening to the voices in our heads. We’re all a little damaged I guess, but that’s what makes us able to create the way we do, and I personally wouldn’t have it any other way.
Samantha Anderson’s first novel, The Devil’s Angel, will be published in 2010. Connect with Samantha here: