I used to think that in order to write well you had to have some kind of syndrome or addiction. I realize how stupid that sounds, I really do. But it’s the truth, I really thought that some piece of you had to be missing in order to write anything worth reading.
In most instances with literature, it’s pretty true. Writers either start out as depressed lunatics, or turn into them by the end of their first novel. They live their lives in books, hiding their emotions from the world. It’s only when the book is written that you can see how they actually felt through the use of their characters and background of the story.
Alcoholism also takes a major part in some of histories most well written novels. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, ‘The Great Gatsby’, a novel I’m reading for my 11th grade english class proves the best uses of it. Fitzgerald spent most of the second half of his life working relentlessly to sell his first few novels. No book he had ever written showed more raw emotion than this one. Fitzgerald’s addiction to alcohol was not only shown in his real life, but it also stood as a major importance throughout the novel itself.
I guess what i’m saying is that the best writing is influenced by a number of different things. Unfortunately, it seems that most ideas are influenced by the worst of them. What i’ve also found is, it doesn’t take an extreme mental illness or substance to spark your imagination.
Our generation is constantly self-medicating and self-prescribing mental illnesses and problems. We overthink and believe that shoving a variety of different things down our throats will give us the answer. It’s almost as if we thrive off of our newfound negativity and can’t seem to push it off.
What needs to be realized is, imagination can be sparked off of so much more than our depression and anxieties. Truthfully, it’s awful that I even spent time relying on my saddest days to pick up a pen. I honestly believed for awhile that in order to keep writing, I had to stay sad. When I wasn’t, I had to make myself be.
Creativity should be based off of so much more than that. Experiences shouldn’t need substances in order to have interest. Stories shouldn’t all be written in our darkest corners.
Bottom line is, not every writer needs to have a problem. If you do (which most of us d0), work to fix it. It’s time to find different fuels for our passions.