I recently had a conversation with my dad who was reading through some of my Mom’s college composition books. During this conversation my Dad said, “All of these writers are crazy!” He went on to explain how they all had some type of mental issue, drug addiction, or sexual deviance. He then paused and said, “And this is what you want to do? Is being messed up required?” I laughed heartily and said, “It depends.” I had a similar discussion with my creative writing class when it first started.
This is where I claim that “crazy” is relative. I think (in both cases) there was the question of whether the creative mind is strange enough to qualify as crazy in comparison with the status quo. And in my father’s case, whether I was or was becoming crazy.
I would love to hear what you have to say on the question of whether or not a writer has to be crazy to be “good”!