Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Writing And Therapy ~ Are Writers All Crazy?

I’ve studied a lot of psychology. Mostly to help me figure out why I seem to be so different from other folks.

I’m a writer and I’ve been very crazy at various points in my life but, usually, I’m rather sane; it’s just that I’m so damned different.

Might be that I’m an introvert but that proclivity doesn’t account for all of it.

Actually, since I’ve been writing seriously (about 22 years now), I’m even more different than I used to be but I’m also more sane than I’ve ever been.

So, is my decided differentness what made me a writer or was my writerness always there and I just had to grow up enough to realize it was what made me different.

Honestly? It’s some of both.

So, let’s see: Either writing can make you crazy or being crazy can be cured by writing. Or… Maybe both…

E. L. Doctorow said: “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”

Lord Byron said: “If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad.”

For something somewhat scientific but easier to understand, try, What is Writing Therapy?, at wiseGeek.

I’m purposely trying to not make a definable point in this post. My experience of being radically different and the effect writing has on my sanity are very hard to explain in a blog post. It would take a long story, mostly fictional, to explore the weird world of therapeutic writing.

Hey! Watch this post for potential comments. They’re bound to be pretty wild :-)
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7 responses to “Writing And Therapy ~ Are Writers All Crazy?

  1. Jessie January 13, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Let’s see–am I different? Oh yeah.

    Crazy? Not yet but I wouldn’t rule it out.

    Writing? It’s really just an excuse to have imaginary friends as a grown-up.


  2. Simone Benedict January 14, 2011 at 12:06 am

    My response is no, not all writers are crazy. My brief research shows the science of psychology has found a correlation between mood disorders and artists, American psych professional Kay Jamison comes to mind as a pioneer in the correlation theory. It also seems there is a theory that some artists may not be able to distinguish the line between the rational and the irrational. I’m also gathering that when that line gets fuzzy, then the artist goes a little ‘nutty.’

    After reading your post’s referenced article, my thought is if psychology can fix crazy writers by having them write, that sounds astonishingly brillant. I like it. :-)


    • Alexander M Zoltai January 14, 2011 at 1:52 am

      It’s a new experience to hear you with out the endearing dry wit you use in your blog :-)

      You said, “…some artists may not be able to distinguish the line between the rational and the irrational.”, and it made me think about the necessity for society to reinforce the idea that using the “irrational” can be a Rational act. If the Unconscious (“irrational”) is feared and shunned, the conscious mind sees its promptings as wrong. In fact, when we ignore the activity of the Unconscious, we urge it to act more strongly (irrationally) to get our attention and transmit what it wants us to know. Trying to act ultra-“rational” (conscious) induces a complementary reaction from the Unconscious.

      Carl Jung says all this much better than me :-)


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