Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Karin Cox – Can’t Afford Therapy?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Can’t afford therapy? No problem, become a writer!

by Karin Cox

I think most people would agree that writers are a weird bunch. No one knows that more than me, because, heck, I am a writer. But I’m also an editor, so I have to work with other writers, too, and that makes me fully qualified to tell you that writers are wonderful, hilarious, talented, imaginative, clever, sensitive, and quite insane people. Most of us really should be stretched out on a couch at least once a day, and I don’t mean for a nap in-between tapping out a few thousand words. I mean for a lobotomy, or at least a little psychoanalysis. However, I really think that the constant pecking thoughts in a writer’s brain and the swirl of emotions in a writer’s breast are critical to being an author.

Authors see things differently to most people. They plumb the depths of human interaction and emotion. I don’t know many writers who have never wallowed in the snake pit of a broken heart or felt the paranoid bite of the black dog from time to time. I think perhaps the very desire to explore the world and its people, and to truly feel what others feel, makes writers a little more susceptible to maudlin, profound thought, which, in turn, makes them more than a little bit bonkers.

Now, before you all start jumping up and down and saying, “This editor said writers are all mental. Stone her! One-star her books! Burn down her plantation! (which is probably made-up anyway),” I should clarify. “Writing mental” is a fabulous, hilarious, super-productive kind of jetpack-powered insanity that, while it can drop one into a seething pit of despair, also consists of moments of deluded grander and ridiculous “Cruxim is so amazing that I’m sure I’m going to be the next JK Rowling/Stephenie Meyer/Colleen Hoover/[insert name of next big superstar here]!” style optimism. The psychological afflictions that plague writers are rarely the kind of “I’ll hunt you down and boil your bunnies in molten batshit” mental—and thank goodness for that, although I knew there was a reason I don’t keep rabbits. “Writing mental” is the little voice on your shoulder that sometimes blows trumpets in your ear (or smoke up your bum, whichever you prefer) for your wondrous work and at other times berates you for being clichéd, or boring, or for being a genre writer of paranormal romance and therefore simply not as good as that Man-Booker-Prize-winning author … Now, what was his name again…? Oh, it doesn’t matter; no one reads literary fiction anyway (she says, tongue in cheek).

Writing insanity is a way to take all of your own personal little neuroses and peccadilloes and plot bunnies and vampire-eating angels and cobwebbed skeletons in haunted corners of your tatty little writer’s soul and put them on the page for others to gasp at, laugh at, cry over, or identify with.

We’re nuts, but we’re working through it in our own cathartic manner by putting it all down on paper. We’re making little effigies of our nutty selves—or our friends and relatives (whom we haven’t seen for months because we’ve been writing), or our exes (because good things always happen to them in novels), or the man at the pizza shop, or the lady with the alligator purse at the mall—and we’re plunking them into times, worlds, relationships, and situations we’ve most likely never been in ourselves … and then we’re hurting them. Slowly. And deliberately.

Yes, we’re hurting them! Because all good writers know that conflict is king. Pain and need and trouble drive stories. Basically, we create people we love (and we hope you love them too), or people that we love to hate in the case of exes, and then we make life increasingly horrible for them. Then—just when you, us, and certainly they, can’t take any more—we sometimes deign to let them be happy. We let them find love, fulfil their quest, or attain their wildest dreams. And we feel good for a little while. We feel good because we’ve finally finished that damn novel and now those insistent voices in our head have vanished for a little while. Then we go back to our lonely little desks and we sit down, and we feel content. Then we wash down two Vicodin with vodka and we start again. Okay, I’m kidding … I prefer wine.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Paranormal Romance

Rating – PG15+ (some violence & swearing. No sex)

More details about the author & the book

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Blog http://karincox.wordpress.com/

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