"Writers Get To Treat Their Mental Illnesses Every Day"~~~Vonnegut

@pyewacket (44037)
United States
February 17, 2009 10:50pm CST
Writers Get To Treat Their Mental Illnesses Every Day The above is a quote from the famous author Kurt Vonnegut, and I would like to throw another quote about writers to you that I love: [i]"Authors are like actors: We Get Under the Skin of Our Character, Inhabiting Their Lives For A While... Writing is Much Cheaper Than Spending a Lot Of Time In A Therapist Chair, Cheaper Too. Authors Get to Parade Their Neuroses in Public Disguised As A Story."[/i] Have to admit I have that quote written from a book I read long time ago, so can't give the source. Anyway I have those two quotes written out on an index card and near my bed. I laugh at Vonnegut's quote all the time since I think this is often so true for many writers...not just writers but perhaps anyone who is of the creative mind-set.. As for the second quote, I can't help thinking this is so true especially for fiction writers...we get to be our own scriptwriter, director, costume and scenic designer, and yes, all the characters. Writing I think in general is a good over all form of therapy and I've read countless times that a simple thing like journaling one's thoughts down, is great therapy...we can rant, rave, write of our joys, sorrows, passions....get it all out on paper. Oh, and don't forget here at MyLot where we often share our thoughts too, so maybe in many instances, MyLot is our "journal" of sorts Anyway...what do you think of these two quotes...do you think writers (or any creative person) tends to be "mental"??? Neurotic?? Are we writers crazy as loons??? Heehee Uh...if you're a writer...do you think you might be a tad "mental"??..not normal??...eccentric??...listen to the beat of a different drummer??...I know I'm not completely normal or not all there...where I am at times I don't know...
13 people like this
24 responses
@celticeagle (117606)
• Boise, Idaho
18 Feb 09
Great! Thanks for sharing. I think we all have our demons and choose to explore and infiltrate our very psychies to make the stories. Yes, I definitely think we listen to the beat of a diffeent drummer. And, I also think that the more genius, the closer to madness.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
18 Feb 09
Having read up on some past authors too, many actually did suffer from "disorders" like Virgina Woolfe who was bi-polar...the artist Pollack was supposed to be a crazed, obsessive artist--it was probably their "art" that often kept them a bit sane at times
2 people like this
• United States
18 Feb 09
I think you make a good point, there is a fine line between genius and madness (look at some of the world's most famous geniuses and you will see a little kookiness) in just the same way that there's a fine line between cops and criminals. Wonder what other fine lines you might see? Hmmm.
1 person likes this
• Regina, Saskatchewan
18 Feb 09
LOL Pye..........we're nuts only in our minds! I have copied your quotes to my own quote book and will source the author of the second one. Of course writers are a tad 'touched'. We have to be to be good at what we do. All creative people are a little 'mental', and some quite a lot. Artists of whatever medium, think outside the box. To 'normal' people that makes them a little or a lot crazy. Personally, I revel in it. Keeps me from getting stale..............
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
18 Feb 09
Yeah..who wants to be normal, right? That second quote is from one of my old writing books deeply embedded somewhere in my linen closet that I use mainly for books rather than linens and stuff....hope to find it eventually though I might need someone like Indiana Jones to help me find it..
2 people like this
• Regina, Saskatchewan
18 Feb 09
I've got the hat and the whip! ROFL
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
18 Feb 09
Ah into whips??? LOL...I actually DO have a genuine Indiana Jones Fedora hat I got years ago..heehee
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Feb 09
Hewy, define normal cause I don't really know what that means. Being a cretive type for all my life. Making a living being creative and selling my creations for 38 years. Outside the box, eccentric, mental a little, those and all my middle name and many more. I am not a writer although I have had a good time doing the journal thing, even reread them from time to time. Some good, some ok, some help what was I thinking.....was I thinking? I don't know if I agree with the first staatement although come to think of the peots I have known....can I retract my former sttement. Yep they are all mental.......
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
3 Mar 09
Believe me I don't know what "normal" is either...LOL. I've been creative all my life too, not just writing, but painting, music, dance...oh, yea..classic eccentric here...LOL
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Mar 09
OK so we are just two peas in a pod, cut from the same cloth, birds of a feather-------you get the picture oh and I was a belly dancer for 6 years professional with a troup in Hollywood and danced a total of 14 years. We have lots in common!!!!!
1 person likes this
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
18 Feb 09
I think most artists live in a unique reality. It's what make them artists. It's what enables a photographer see an image that others may have missed, a painter to see a likeness and be able to transfer it into their chosen media, or a songwriter to hear a song that's never been heard before. I'd love for a day (or more) to be able to live in the minds of some of the great fantasy writers. Even tho most mundane things become wonderful when the context is changed. One would have to wonder about the minds of authors who write fiction centered around serial killers. Do they go to dinner and imagine the next victim from the people they see around them?
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
20 Feb 09
LOL--you sometimes what is going on in the mind of someone like Stephan King. Actually I once heard, don't know it it's true, that many of the ideas for his stories were from dreams he had,...yikes I'm glad I never had dreams like that! LOL
2 people like this
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
20 Feb 09
LOL...I guess that's the danger of going to bed with a full stomach. For me, if I have a cold and take Niquil before bed I can be pretty sure that I'm going to have twisted dreams.
2 people like this
@blackbriar (9080)
• United States
18 Feb 09
After seeing those 2 pics you sent, ummmmmmmmmmm...I know for a fact your not normal. I still get a good giggle just thinking of them. lol
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
20 Feb 09
And gee, those were my "normal" photos...
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Feb 09
lmao I bet!
2 people like this
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
18 Feb 09
WEll some writters might be mental but surely not al . but then when reading the books ya just wonder wehre all those thoughts come form!
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
20 Feb 09
You really HAVE to wonder where Stephan King gets his ideas from...LOL
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
20 Feb 09
yup I was thinking that!
1 person likes this
@faith210 (11233)
• Philippines
18 Feb 09
Hi pyewacket! haha..I think that creative people or artists are a little "mental"! haha..That is what I usually say to my husband who is an artist. lol.. I do think that artists see the world differently and I think that is good since they can paint the world more beautiful in colors and in words. Being eccentric is sometimes beautiful! Well, that is what I tell my husband all the time! Take care and have a great day! lovelots..faith
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
20 Feb 09
Maybe we creative people are more sensitive to the world around them, no?? We actually "see" things differently to begin with
2 people like this
@faith210 (11233)
• Philippines
20 Feb 09
I do agree! My husband can see beauty in almost everything and sometimes, he has to point it out to me. I really appreciate that since he opened my eyes in a very different world and I really like it. lovelots..faith
2 people like this
@ElicBxn (60810)
• United States
18 Feb 09
well, I've discovered that I can't write when I'm really happy or really unhappy I have to about the right stage of unhappy to write - i've been much too unhappy lately to get any writing done oh - and I really don't count mylot, I'm talking my fiction
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
20 Feb 09
I haven't really written much fiction either but with me it's time since I spend most of my time doing articles now. But I understand what you mean about writing when one is in a certain frame of mind.
2 people like this
@ElicBxn (60810)
• United States
20 Feb 09
the roomie and I were talking about it earlier and she says she does her best writing when she's angry
2 people like this
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
18 Feb 09
Umm, well, I AM mental to begin with! Ergo, my name. I LOVE those quotes, pye! So true! So very true!!! I wholeheartedly agree that writing is an excellent form of therapy. Writing down your thoughts, concerns, questions, issues, whatever, then reading them over, can often bring about answers that had been eluding us beforehand. MyLot is my therapy. Oh, I do keep a journal of sorts but don't write in it every day. I simply don't have the time or energy. I MAKE the time and energy for myLotting, so I consider that my therapy (at least in the winter when I can't get outside to do any gardening). I've asked questions here and received some really great answers! Sometimes, those answers don't quite fit my exact situation, but they're good enough to get my mind on the right track to FIND those answers. Yep, I definitely agree that writing can help anyone overcome most problems they might be facing. Re-read, reflect, resolve. It works!
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
20 Feb 09
Yes I think MyLot is a GREAT place to get a bit of therapy from..heehee. I no longer "journal" everyday either..maybe due to the fact that a lot of the stress I had previously is no longer around....oh, I've had a few moments, but prior to three years ago I was in a very stressful type situation. I journaled like crazy then...to read my entries in my journals back then you can feel the anger and hopelessness I felt back then..like yikes another lifetime ago. I also had done two short stories based about my "Lovely" relationship with my mother...yikes if they didn't sound like "mommie dearest" I don't know what did. LOL
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
20 Feb 09
Mmmm..my remark here inspired another discussion..LOL
1 person likes this
@xParanoiax (6999)
• United States
18 Feb 09
As a writer I usually say to people, "If you want to get to know me -- REALLY know me, then read one of my books." Though oftentimes it isn't on purpose, the books often reflect my state of mind at the time. Elements of myself get worked into many of the characters...and I can only write a situation that I can both envision and FEEL happening. I am a strange person, even strangers can testify to that...and what the heck is normal anyway? And we're all a little crazy in some way, it's just that us writers have the excuse of not needing or feeling the compulsion to hide it -- we embrace it, and sometimes we manage to turn it into art. I dance to the song that gets caught in my head. It's not my fault that no one else can hear it. =)
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
18 Feb 09
Oh I love that saying...I dance to the song that gets caught in my head. It's not my fault that no one else can hear it. Did you write that??? If so
• United States
18 Feb 09
Yeah, I wrote that ^_^' thanks.
1 person likes this
• Lubbock, Texas
19 Feb 09
LOL Love the quotes. If creative types were "normal" they wouldn't be creative types, they'd just be normal. Does any creative type want to get stuffed in a pigeon hole tagged "normal or sane"? I may not be a professional artiste in any field, but DON'T call me normal. Let me have my little twist of eccentricity, insanity, neurosis or whatever else you want to call it.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
14 Mar 09
Yup--I don't want to be normal either..so over-rated I think..LOL
• Canada
19 Feb 09
Yeah, all you 'writers' are all loons! But we LOVE reading your loonie discussions. Keep up the good work. I'm not that creative in that dept. at all. SO I admire 'writers'. It takes a lot of patience, and fear of rejection, so KUDOS to you!
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
3 Mar 09
..."fear of rejection".... Yup, we "creative" types have to get used to that. I remember when I was first sending out my portfolios of my photo work and it be rejected I was insulted....not to sound snobby but I would see the kind of photo images that were being published and think, hey, my work is every bit as good as that...same when I started sending my short stories....then after awhile, if I got those rejections, I just simply go to another publishing media or magazine and send my work out to them...I remember reading somewhere that one very famous author...think Patterson sent his first novel out to at least 100 publishers before his novel was finally picked up to be published..so he certainly didn't give up
1 person likes this
@Opal26 (17691)
• United States
18 Feb 09
Hey Pye! I think there just might be something to those quotes after all! I know that in therapy we are always asked to write things down! I in particular kind of get annoyed when I asked to do that because it feels sort of like "homework" and if I wanted to do "homework" I would go back to school! Or maybe it is just me and another form of being annoyed at having to do something that I'm being told to do! I do think, however, that writing is an art, and artists are after all seen as a bit crazy or neurotic or loony! But, so what! The point that we get things out and are creative at doing so to me is wonderful! So if all the writers, poets, etc. are crazy then I feel that we are in excellent company! And since it is considered a form of therapy then all the more important that we continue to get the words out in whatever forms we choose! So if that is crazy as I said then I'm in the best company ever!
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
20 Feb 09
It's funny I was never into "journeling" in my younger years, so it did take me awhile to get used to journaling, but once you start it's like an addiction and it really is therapeutic to get those ideas out on paper--or if not on paper, can always type them up in your word processor and do a daily thing of that.
@CRIVAS (1820)
• Canada
18 Feb 09
I believe that this is true in more ways than one. I am definately not your average person and can you guess what one of my passions is? Writting. I tend to put my feelings into all of my writting, it's like a small piece of my soul is given to the writting and sometimes I feel like it is the perfect outlet for my frustrasions, angers and joys. Writting creates a sense of freedome, in that we are able to control the path that we want our work to take. I think that writers need to be a little crazy every now and again, otherwise, where would all the interesting stories come from?
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
20 Feb 09
Yes I love how you mention that writing is like putting a piece of your soul on paper..how true!
18 Feb 09
Hi pye, I don't think writers are loons, I write a lot of poems about things and I don't think I am but my hubby thinks i've lost the plot but that is his opinon, I think writers are cleaver and if there is anything wrong with them, they just write about it and can heal themselves in that way instead of keeping it all in but they are not loonies. Bright Blessings. Tamara xxxx
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
20 Feb 09
Yes so often I think writing is a means of therapy...so maybe we're more in touch with our feelings and DON'T need traditional therapy...LOL
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Feb 09
i'm an artist..they always call us crazy. i suppose it's theraputic in a good way.i know i seem to do my best work when i have colds for example.it seem to be the mindset you get into. but better to get things out on paper.
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
20 Feb 09
Speaking of which, yikes I haven't done any painting in awhile....mmmm
1 person likes this
@dodo19 (32555)
• Beaconsfield, Quebec
18 Feb 09
Ever since I was a kid, I've always been artistic. I've taking drama courses (acting, dramatic literature, etc), since I was 7. And i've been writing since I was in my early teens. One thing that I've noticed is that writers and people in the drama field have their craziness. It's a different kind of craziness, but it's crazy nonetheless. When I say crazy, though, I certainly do not mean this is a bad way. I do believe that generally speaking artists are crazy, in the best sense. So, I really agree with this quote.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
18 Feb 09
I've always been artistic too...I did oil painting at a very early age (six)...been involved with music, studied dance, written, and yes I studied Drama as well (when I was in college). But yes I know what you mean about being crazy, but in a good way
1 person likes this
@BarBaraPrz (19582)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
18 Feb 09
Define "mental"... if you mean living in our heads, then yes, I am... I've always marched to the beat of a different drummer (usually to the tune of March of the Toreadors)
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
20 Feb 09
Oh great...now you have me humming March of the Toreadors....LOL
1 person likes this
@BarBaraPrz (19582)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
20 Feb 09
Fun, isn't it?
1 person likes this
@snowcat46 (2323)
• United States
19 Feb 09
But since writers write all the time, doesn't that make us more normal? After all, we constantly write out our mental problems, therefore we work them out and they're gone. So aren't we really MORE normal than those that don't write and work out their problems?
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
14 Mar 09
LOL--hey that's great logic!! So maybe we ARE more normal...heehee
@busibee (187)
• United States
18 Feb 09
I think writers (and other really creative people) have to be a little nutty just because they use from their experiences to create. The best art comes from true feelings, either good or bad. Some of the greatest poets had depression (ie, Sylvia Plath) and used their talent and creativity to express their pain. I guess it can be good therapy to create to get those feelings out.
@pyewacket (44037)
• United States
20 Feb 09
How true, I think it's so much better to get negative feelings out, rather than to keep them bottled up...and doing so by creativity is a great way to do it...LOL