Are authors even a little bit insane?
Um, you know the saying, only truly insane people don’t know they’re insane. So, if I said “No, of course authors aren’t insane,” would you believe me? And if I said, “Why yes, as a matter of fact, we are insane,” then you would know we really aren’t.
Wait, is this a trick question?
Seriously, though, the question does beg an answer. I mean, how many people walk around creating make-believe people in their minds? And then creating a make-believe world for those people to live in? We have conversations with our imaginary friends, we dress them in the morning, give them a job to go to, a house to live in, a family to love or hate, and a past to embrace or run from. And what does the future hold for our characters? Well, only we know and only we get to decide their fate.
Here’s my theories. If authors aren’t insane we must be just on the brink of it and writing fiction is our way of waylaying the inevitable plunge into that otherworld of the mind. It’s our outlet. Without our stories we may just do the very things we make our characters do. And that could be bad. Very bad. Especially when you write suspense and your villain is a psycho-maniacal windbag with an obsession with clowns.
If we’re not insane then we must suffer from a god complex. We need to be in control; we need to be calling the shots. And since that rarely happens in our own world we need to create one where our every whim and fancy is obeyed. Where we are all-powerful, all-knowing, and omni-present.
Now for the truth of the matter. Authors aren’t insane. Well, maybe some are, but most aren’t. What we have is a desire (maybe even a need) to create. Man has been endowed by our Creator with a tendency to create. Look around you: The buildings, the cars, the infrastructure, the art. Listen to the music we produce. We’re creators by nature. Authors simply find a different and unique way to express that attribute.
So really, we’re not insane. I’m not insane. I’m not insane. I’m not insane.
What do you think? Are authors insane? Why do feel this need to create? To make up these stories and put them on paper?