Are writers a bit crazy?

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M. Morrison

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Oct 2, 1994, 12:58:06 PM10/2/94
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Am I crazy...
-
I find that when people are talking to me... my thoughts
are someplace else. The other day my next door
neighbor had an appointment with her doctor and she
asked me to watch her 7 week old little girl. She was
telling me about things to do... where things were... etc.
I listened... for a while. But, she kept talking and talking
and my mind started wandering... no, not wandering...
my mind started working... on the novel that I am
currently writing. She was talking and I was responding
to her questions and statements when suddenly she
stopped talking and sort of... stared at me... with a
peculiar smile on her lips. I suddenly realized she had
been talking about their dog and things to watch out for
with their dog... and I had been responding to her
questions and statements by saying, Oh, she will be
fine... I have taken care of lots of babies... etc. She left
for her doctor appointment.... reluctantly.
-
I drive my wife crazy. I am thinking about what I am
working on while she(and apparently everyone else) is
trying to carry on a conversation with me. Do other
writers do this? People who live in worlds that they
makeup... do they... do we... are we crazy...??????
-
Oh... and dont any of you give me any of your crap...
Im serious... do writers... do fiction writers often
wander around in their own worlds while leaving their
friends and family in the here and now?
-
D.S. Morrison
Citi...@aol.com
-
P.S. And yes... I took very good care of the tiny little
girl... I didnt say that I couldnt function.

William T Quick

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Oct 2, 1994, 2:40:12 PM10/2/94
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M. Morrison (mmor...@blue.weeg.uiowa.edu) wrote:
: Am I crazy...

No.

: -


: I find that when people are talking to me... my thoughts
: are someplace else. The other day my next door

You are a writer. Most absent minded bunch of people in the world. We
make the absent-minded professors look sharp as tacks.

: -


: I drive my wife crazy. I am thinking about what I am
: working on while she(and apparently everyone else) is
: trying to carry on a conversation with me. Do other
: writers do this? People who live in worlds that they
: makeup... do they... do we... are we crazy...??????
: -

Almost every writer I know is like this. I tend to walk face-first into
lamp posts and street signs. I once set out to water the plants, and
ended up watering the cat instead. The cat wasn't amused.

: Oh... and dont any of you give me any of your crap...

: Im serious... do writers... do fiction writers often
: wander around in their own worlds while leaving their
: friends and family in the here and now?

Yes, indeed. Not just fiction writers, either.

Best,

WTQ

W. T. Quick | Iceberg Productions ! ice...@crl.com | ice...@pipeline.com
Member: National Writers Union | SFFWA | The Author's Guild
KEEPER OF THE STONE by "Margaret Allan," (pseudonym), Signet, 1994
THE LAST MAMMOTH by "Margaret Allan," (pseudonym), Signet, June 1995

JMingo

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Oct 2, 1994, 3:22:05 PM10/2/94
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In article <lawrenceofOblivia>, ice...@crl.com (William T Quick) writes:

>M. Morrison (mmor...@blue.weeg.uiowa.edu) wrote:
>: Am I crazy...

>[...]


>: Oh... and dont any of you give me any of your crap...
>: Im serious... do writers... do fiction writers often
>: wander around in their own worlds while leaving their
>: friends and family in the here and now?
>
>Yes, indeed. Not just fiction writers, either.


Huh? Were you talking to me?

Jack (Funny. I thought I heard voices.) Mingo

Greg-man

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Oct 2, 1994, 4:17:28 PM10/2/94
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In article <781117371...@blue.weeg.uiowa.edu>,

M. Morrison <mmor...@blue.weeg.uiowa.edu> wrote:
>Am I crazy...
>-
>I find that when people are talking to me... my thoughts
>are someplace else. The other day my next door
>neighbor had an appointment with her doctor and she

[SNIP]

>-
>Oh... and dont any of you give me any of your crap...
>Im serious... do writers... do fiction writers often
>wander around in their own worlds while leaving their
>friends and family in the here and now?
>-
>D.S. Morrison
>Citi...@aol.com
>-
>P.S. And yes... I took very good care of the tiny little
>girl... I didnt say that I couldnt function.

Ah, but when you mistook the little girl for your keyboard and started
trying to type on her, she started crying and that snapped you back.

I don't think it's just writers who lose focus. I think it's any one of
us geniuses who just get tired of the endless ramblings of other people
who are just not our intellectual equals and we just start drifting off.
It was like this the other da... and then the cop said... but the
funniest thin... So, anyway, nice talking to ya.


--
|-----------------------------------------------------|-------------------|
|Comedy and bed-wetting are both attention-getting |GREG-MAN: |
|behaviors. At least with comedy, you don't have to | |
|get rubber sheets... unless you REALLY want them. |greg...@netcom.com|
|-----------------------------------------------------|-------------------|

Alex MacKenzie

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Oct 3, 1994, 5:10:34 PM10/3/94
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M. Morrison asked:

>Am I crazy...
>-
>I find that when people are talking to me... my thoughts
>are someplace else.

Nope, not crazy, just preoccupied with better things than mundane
reality.

Whenever I'm hot and heavy into a writing project, it takes over
my life--am constantly thinking about the characters, the plot,
the next scene(s), etc., to the point where I run into stationary
objects. Am forced to write notes to myself so I won't forget
ordinary daily tasks. Have gotten into the habit of carrying
either a notebook or a handheld tape recorder *everywhere*, and
have been known to start writing scenes while standing in lines
at the post office, grocery store, bus stop; or at restaurants
and parties, simply because the story was more insistent in my
mind at those points than whatever else I was doing.

It's not crazy, though it can occasionally be hazardous--I gave
up driving alone three years ago after a little $5,000 incident
on the freeway. Some things, like tires lying in the roadway, do
require a bit more attention than I can sometimes muster. Now, I
take a "minder" with me on any venture requiring large metallic
objects moving at rapid speeds. I can still function pretty well
within mundane reality, but at least I've learned my limitations.

And no, I never, *ever* babysit.

Later,
Alex

J.R. Dean

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Oct 4, 1994, 4:09:46 AM10/4/94
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Inquiring minds want to know the answer: Are writers a bit crazy?

Answer: Yes.

Next question...

-- Dean

-------------
j...@nocturne.boulder-creek.ca.us ..scruz.ucsc.edu!nocturne!jrd
"The Enclave" -- Boulder Creek, California -- +1 408 336-0610
=+! Public Access Usenet BBS for Writers & Other Fiends !+=

Bonnie Stewart

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Oct 4, 1994, 8:38:00 AM10/4/94
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M. Morrison <mmor...@blue.weeg.uiowa.edu> writes:

>Oh... and dont any of you give me any of your crap...
>Im serious... do writers... do fiction writers often
>wander around in their own worlds while leaving their
>friends and family in the here and now?

I write non-fiction mostly and I often disengage from my surroundings.
Occasionally, I scramble for pen and paper and jot something down.

I work with a composer and he is constantly humming or beating some rhythm
or other onto whatever surface is at hand. I believe the writer's
wanderings are the same.

I'm not sure if it's the creative process or if we simply can't bear to be
bored. Whatever you do, don't tell people "sorry, I wasn't listening".
This seems to offend folks for some reason.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bonnie Stewart bon...@amtron1.login.qc.ca
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

John Camp

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Oct 5, 1994, 2:41:30 AM10/5/94
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I've noticed that when I go to New York to visit with editors, I have to
suppress my sense of humor, which tends toward the straight-faced
outrageous opinion. (Yeah, I'm in favor of floggings, and not only do I think
they ought to be public, I think a certain level of attendance should be
required. That'd quiet down the neighborhood...) The reason I have to
suppress this stuff is that the editors tend to take you seriously --
they don't agree with you, but there is a tendency on their part to see
writers as crazy, and they're never quite sure when you're joking. So when
you say something outrageous and they start tap-dancing around it...
well, it was fun the first few times, but lately I've just given up.

And why do editors think we're crazy? Because they have no idea of how
we do what we do, but at the same time, their livelihoods depend on it.
Somehow writers go into a room and come out a while later with a product
that will make a lot of money and keep their kids in private schools, and
they have no idea of how it's done. It's sort of like the ancients humoring
the fertilizer gods...they don't know exactly what those gods do, and they
kinda smell bad, but by god, they put bacon on the table...

John Camp

William T Quick

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Oct 5, 1994, 3:52:02 AM10/5/94
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John Camp (jc...@mr.net) wrote:

: And why do editors think we're crazy? Because they have no idea of how


: we do what we do, but at the same time, their livelihoods depend on it.
: Somehow writers go into a room and come out a while later with a product
: that will make a lot of money and keep their kids in private schools, and
: they have no idea of how it's done. It's sort of like the ancients humoring
: the fertilizer gods...they don't know exactly what those gods do, and they
: kinda smell bad, but by god, they put bacon on the table...

Yes, indeed. It was sort of frightening when I discovered they thought I
meant quite seriously everything I said. I have learned to be absolutely
literal when saying *anything* to an editor. They believe writers are
capable of believing and/or doing anything.

It's an odd feeling when someone handles you as if you are a stick of
dynamite sweating nitro.

Kitty Jones

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Oct 4, 1994, 9:02:01 PM10/4/94
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In article <781117371...@blue.weeg.uiowa.edu> M. Morrison,

mmor...@blue.weeg.uiowa.edu writes:
>Im serious... do writers... do fiction writers often
>wander around in their own worlds while leaving their
>friends and family in the here and now?

It's not just writers. People who start doing meditation or some
other kind of focused practice discover that it's extremely hard
work for most of us to just stay in the present and pay attention to
what's going on right around us.

I've decided that this hard work is worth it for me--that going off
on mental trips all the time makes me (and my writing and other
work) more scattered, oblivious, over-intellectual, self-absorbed,
solipsistic, and judgmental. On the other hand, if I persist in
trying to stay present in reality, my writing becomes richer,
clearer, and more "transparent." When I write, I just write. The
rest of the time I just babysit, just ride the bus, just eat
oatmeal, whatever.

Works for me. Fortunately, we are all different.

Kitty Jones / jone...@gold.tc.umn.edu / "Never attribute to malice
what can be explained by incompetence." Jones's Law.

Annabel Smyth

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Oct 5, 1994, 8:09:00 AM10/5/94
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In article <781117371...@blue.weeg.uiowa.edu>
mmor...@blue.weeg.uiowa.edu "M. Morrison" writes:

>Am I crazy...
>-
>I find that when people are talking to me... my thoughts
>are someplace else.

Quote from C S Lewis: "Husbands were made to be talked to. It helps
them to concentrate on what they're reading."

From Fran Leibowitz: "Before marriage, a man will lie awake all night
thinking of something you said. Afterwards, he will fall asleep
before you finish saying it."

Enough said.
--
Annabel Smyth Ann...@amsmyth.demon.co.uk
^^^^^^^^^^^^^
"Only when the caterpillar has consented to . . . total
annihilation can the butterfly be constructed." (Sara Maitland)

Alexander von Thorn

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Oct 7, 1994, 12:03:02 AM10/7/94
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> Am I crazy...

I suggest trying to live your life with a first-person point of view.
Third person is a very difficult viewpoint for coping with reality; it
is rather distancing, especially if you use the third-person omniscient
point of view in living your life. Third person is a viewpoint better
reserved for fiction or journalism.

======================================================================
Alex von Thorn The Worldhouse: 195 College St., Toronto M5T 1P9
vont...@io.org (416) 408-GAME, fax (416) 408-4600
worl...@io.com Chair, MAGIC '95 (Mensa Annual Gathering In Canada)
Toronto Trek IX Kensington Market Working Group

Insert appropriate disclaimer here. (No one actually listens to me
anyway.)

"A stand can be made against invasion by an army; no stand can be made
against invasion by an idea." --Victor Hugo, _Histoire d'un Crime_


kEN Colburn

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Oct 7, 1994, 6:18:22 AM10/7/94
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i don't know if Writers are crazy so i asked my dog. He said he wasn't
sure but what he really wants to do is direct.
Hope this helps your survey.

--
******************************************************************
"Doctor, i feel like i'm stuck in that hi skool phase when mt.climbing
meant trying to get under Mary Anne Miller's sweater" " "I see. We'll
address this on Wed. kEN" "Can't make it Wed, i've got detention."

kal...@nso.uchc.edu

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Oct 11, 1994, 4:29:49 AM10/11/94
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In article <gregoireC...@netcom.com> greg...@netcom.com (Greg-man)
w

>I don't think it's just writers who lose focus. I think it's any one of

>us geniuses who...

I don't think it was ever my part time attempts at writing that made me wander
around talking to myself (I rarely even talk to my characters). It's being a
part time mathematician that makes people think I've driven off the deep end.
Imagine a lovely, sunny day by the ocean, waves crashing to shore, deep blue

GARYW BW

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Dec 7, 1994, 4:15:21 PM12/7/94
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In article <ezwriterC...@netcom.com>, ezwr...@netcom.com (kEN
Colburn) writes:

i don't know if Writers are crazy so i asked my dog. He said he wasn't
sure but what he really wants to do is direct.
Hope this helps your survey.

Where has your dog been published?

R. D. Davis

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Dec 12, 1994, 1:11:06 AM12/12/94
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>In article <ezwriterC...@netcom.com>, ezwr...@netcom.com (kEN
>Colburn) writes:
>
>i don't know if Writers are crazy so i asked my dog. He said he wasn't
>sure but what he really wants to do is direct.
>Hope this helps your survey.

Well, I've always felt that it's good to get opinions from others
including non-humans; while my dog may not reply verbally, she is a
good listener and I can usually tell if she agrees or disagrees with
something that I've said. I also like discussing things with my car,
who is a very good listener, but replies more subtly than my dog does;
I can judge her opinions by the way she runs... it takes many years to
get to know a car well, but it's well worth keeping the same one for
many years (and many represents a number over 10 or 20 years); those
cold and unfeeling environmentalists may unfortunately disagree.

--
R. D. Davis | Eccentrics have more fun! :-) | * Merry Christmas!!! *
rda...@umbc.edu, ...uunet!mystica!rdd, http://access.digex.net/~rdd
Home telephone: 1-410-744-7964 Work (play!) telephone: 1-410-744-4900 <-|
Unconventional Computer Consulting, a div. of Transpower Industries, Inc. -|

Allan S. Izen

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Dec 12, 1994, 3:31:43 PM12/12/94
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GARYW BW (gar...@aol.com) wrote:
: In article <ezwriterC...@netcom.com>, ezwr...@netcom.com (kEN
: Colburn) writes:

: i don't know if Writers are crazy so i asked my dog.

Well, I can't speak for all writers, but I find it perfectly normal to
turn my back on a day of blazing sun, blue sky, palms rattling in the
tradewinds, iwili birds twittering on the lilikoi vine for the purpose of
propelling a blinking cursor across a computer screen in order to
produce glowing glyphs and cyphers which I can spend endless hours
rearranging. My dog agrees. If that's what it takes to put food in his
bowl, he's all for my doing it.

Robert H Lee

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Dec 13, 1994, 2:21:06 AM12/13/94
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I don't think that's too fair a question to be asking on this board, yo.

If we said yes, who'd believe us?

Drooling and frothing,
-Bob.
zi...@cmu.edu

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