I’ll be honest. I know A LOT of writers. Some highly successful and some… not so much. Yep, they’re all different, but similar. Most tend to be flippers. Not like the dolphin, but their moods swing like pendulums in a Harry Potter movie. Let me explain briefly by giving you a slice of life for an example. (Disclaimer: All Facebook statuses posted are factious even though they may seem like actual living breathing people you may know. Reading discretion advised.)
Facebook status: 11:23 am
I just cut 15,000 words from my novel. I suck. Everything I write is total crap. #thismightnotbeforme #whatwasithinking
Facebook status: 11:27 am
@AgentX thinks I’m the best writer in the world! They emailed and requested a full! I just know I’m going to make it big. #showmethemoney
Facebook status: 11:33 am
My file is gone. I don’t know what happened?! My life is over. I think I’m seriously having a heart attack or maybe a stroke. I cut ALL my words NOT 15,000! #call911 #iamamoron #nevergettingthatagentnow #stupidstupidstupid
Facebook status: 11:43 am
Called my friend and they saved the day! I will be the next J.K. Rowling! #lifeisperfect #irock #iwillwalktheredcarpetinamoviepremire
This was twenty minutes in the life of pretty much most of the people I know. Looks familiar doesn’t it? This may not be something that happens every day, but it does happen; sometimes quite a bit more than we care to admit to ourselves. In thinking of the highs and lows writers experience, they can be pretty extreme. It’s both sad and funny at the same time. ALL of us can relate. This is when a comical little thought about being “bipolar” took a turn in a more serious direction–from being a cute little observation to our lives as writers, to something that quite possibly …could be true. Are a great deal of writers really bipolar?
So what do we do when we have a question? We Google it and I found some interesting information. I wanted to know if writers had a tendencies to have bipolar disorders. Here’s just a small portion of information on what I found.
I’m a huge fan of Sherman Alexie, author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian as well as the book and movie titled Smoke Signals (Chris Eyre, 1998). If you aren’t aware of either one, I highly suggest checking them both out. Some people have put his “part-time Indian” book on the banned book list. In my opinion that only makes the book that much more interesting. In this short video clip, Alexie talks candidly about being bipolar and the positives and negative effects it’s had in his life.
Alexie has some interesting thoughts on creatives and being manic/bipolar. People have argued the topic for years. Evidently they feel there’s a fine line between being mad and creative. In this article, The Bipolar Brain and the Creative Mind by Sarah Eberhardt, Sarah sheds some light onto the subject on how they differ. For more information on mental illnesses and writing, check out or podcast with Robison Wells. He also speaks very candidly on the subject of mental illness.
I wanted to shed some light on writers with bipolar disorders and how our minds work in the creative process. I found this information extremely interesting and I hope you do as well. I’m not saying everyone who writes has a bipolar disorder, but we do need to be both aware of ourselves and the world we live in. If you think you may have a metal disorder seek professional medical help or if you have information you’d like to share on writing and/or mental disorders feel free to leave comments. Happy Writing!