Authors’ Personality Disorders

With the happening of the Internet as a vehicle for communicating among people of same interests, you get to meet and know –albeit superficially– a lot of people. In my case, writers especially. And a bunch of self-centered egotists we are.
In a funny article at Murderati, Amanda Sutton states:

Authors have issues. Acute mental disorders.
Not all of them do, but the prevalence is high.

This is so true. Authors smoke too much. They drink too much. They don’t feed themselves well. They’re constantly obsessed about how much adulation they should receive. Ann Lamott describes it so well in her wonderful book Bird by Bird (a must for any writer):

“[…] every form of mental illness from which they suffer surfaces, leaping out of the water like trout –the delusion, hypocondria, the grandiosity, the self-loathing, the inability to track one thought to completion, even the handwashing fixation, the Howard Huges germ phobias. And especially, the paranoia.”

She also quotes the wonderful poem by Phillip Lopate:

We who are
your closest friends
feel the time
has come to tell you
that every Thursday
we have been meeting,
as a group,
to devise ways
to keep you
in perpetual uncertainty
discontent and
by neither loving you
as much as you want
nor cutting you adrift.
You analyst is
in on it,
plus your boyfriend
and your ex-husband;
and we have pledged
to disappoint you
as long as you need us.
In announcing our
we realize we have
placed in your hands
a possible antidote
against uncertainty
indeed against ourselves.
But since our Thursday nights
have brought us
to a community
of purpose
rare in itself
with you as
the natural center,
we feel hopful you
will continue to make unreasonable
demands for affection
if not as a consequence
of your disastrous personality
then for the good of the collective.

Yes, indeedy. Isn’t that what blogging is all about? A search for adulation?

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