Friday, August 30, 2013
Straight From the Mouth of 'Jesus, Mo & Cheese Puffs' Lisa Boucher
Every day it's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. And I’m not kidding. Mental illness and writing must have
I can't tell you how many schizophrenic, bipolar, or manic depressives tell me they're writing a book. I've yet to hear a patient say they wanted to be a plumber, the president, although a few of them think they are the president, but for the most part, the only career choice they come up with is they're writers. Everyone’s a writer! How come none of them wants to be an electrician, a web designer or a lawyer? I’m just asking…And they're not joking. I often get handed reams of paper, (their books) never mind their books are either carefully scripted gibberish in purple crayon or illegible hash marks where they've pressed so hard they've reduced a half dozen pencils down to nubbins. I've had patients rant about the devil, the CIA, the white house, black blood and unicorns, and invariably in all that cloudy mental soup ekes out the desire to author something, never mind what. Good Lord, what does that say about those of us who actually are writers?
Are writers all crazy? Certainly not, but it may take a certain type of person to who would want to spend copious amounts of time stringing words together without a sure paycheck in the mail. Even famous writers have had manuscripts rejected, or so I’ve heard.
Is being an alcoholic a prerequisite? I don't know, but I did get sober a number of years back. Yikes! In a field full of people who battled depression, drug addiction, alcoholism, and mental illness, the statistics aren’t looking good for us artists. Think Hemmingway, Stephen King, Ann Sexton, Sylvia Pleth Dorothy Parker, Tennessee Williams, the list goes on... Not that I can hold myself in the same esteem when it comes to craft, but I sure can relate to the odd personality type that may be drawn to writing. I love people, but prefer the company of my two dogs. I love spending time alone. Yup, I even like traveling alone. I’d much rather clean the bathroom then go to a writer’s conference. I know, writers are supposed to flock to those like a bunch of damn birds, and they do, but I can assure you, I like conferences about as much as I like having a tooth pulled.
So where is all this going? How about this? If you write because you must write then keep on keeping on. If you’re writing because you want to be famous, then perhaps you should take a look at your motives, and consider cosmetology school or working at Wal-Mart. With either aforementioned option, you’d probably make more money.
Straight From the Author's Mouth at 9:38 AM