Saturday, March 19, 2005

A Special Kind of Crazy

After watching some professional writers' blogs for a while, I have noticed some common threads. Stress over deadlines, stress over finances, driving one's self through sickness and life distractions to meet obligations to publishers. You have be a special kind of crazy to want to do this.

So why do successful writers do this to themselves? What's the payoff? Being crazy means not seeing the world in the same way as "normal" people. It means living in a different reality. This special kind of craziness allows writers to live in a reality in which there really is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and which allows them to follow the rainbow to its end.

Question: If you find a pot of gold, how come so much stress about money? Answer: Not all that is golden is spendable on material needs. Illustration: Tor Books rushed a special printing of a single copy of her last novel, Three Hands of Scorpio, so Andre Norton would have a chance to hold it in her hands before she died.

Writing brings its practitioners intangible rewards. Few, very few, get any substantial financial benefit from their writing, but intangibles make a big difference. Quality of life is far more important than most people realize. I have learned that I can survive on little money and still get enjoyment out of life. I get to scratch that psychic itch that drives me to create with words. I get to see the world in ways that are far richer and deeper than the great mass of people can imagine. One day, I hope to hold in my hands the physical culmination of years of work and worry and stress. One day, I hope that I will know that my words have at least a small chance of reaching other people. Maybe they will change someone's life for the better, and I will have improved the world in some small way. What more could I hope for?


At 8:52 PM, Blogger Tara said...

I'm just as nuts as you, then, Carter. :-) I just wanna WRITE! bwahahahahaha


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