Mike Gold on Insanity and the Creative Process

Forget psychologists and their debates. Here’s what a genuine creator has to say about whether artists are, um, really nuts or not:


by Mike Gold

Are all creative people insane?

By “creative people,” of course I mean writers, artists, musicians, movie makers, actors of all types… the whole enchilada of people who wake up – sometimes in the morning – and face a blank piece of paper or an empty stage or studio and have tasked themselves with filling that space up in some interesting and maybe entertaining way.

There’s a simple answer to this question: yes, they are.

If you’re not part of the creative enclave, and from time to time most people are, you might think my answer is a bit cruel. Not in the least. That blank slate is the beginning of the creative process. It’s usually starts as a solitary experience, a person with his or her guitar, or script, or computer or drawing board. That artist might have an idea where to start and/or maybe where to finish, but working out the details and polishing the nuances in a way that communicates to the world at large is a draining experience. It is not unlike severe constipation: you’ve got to get it out. Hopefully, the end result isn’t shit.

It’s not unusual for a creative type to be kind of awkward in social settings. They don’t live in the real world; they only visit it when time allows. And many are in a state of arrested development. I like to tell people I’m immature, but I’m immature for a living. As I have aged I have learned how to fake adultness, but it’s only a mask. It’s my inner-eight-year old who pays the rent.

When my daughter was a lot younger, I gave her my sage advice about dating – not that she was obligated in any way to follow it, or even likely to do so. We all need to make our own mistakes and learn from those mistakes….

Read it all at Comic Mix