I'm thinking about the incredible highs and lows that come with reading and writing works that move you.
It is madness. For the reader we are moved by drama, comedy, tragedy, action and the sheer beauty of language and metaphor as well as a phrase that strikes us just so. I often wish I had written something I find particularly moving and lament upon my own skills at not doing so yet.
It is madness.
"In a mad world only the mad are sane." - Akira Kurosawa
It is madness because I slip back and forth between thinking I am both terrible and the greatest. I'm guessing, but I think my fellow writers tend to feel the same way at times. I take comfort in knowing that while there is nothing new under the sun, there is no one putting all my thoughts, experiences and imagination down on paper the same way I can. Our humanity and very separate lives make us unique individually. Likewise the reader will take my words down and absorb them through their own filter taking that uniquely as well.
“If I am mad, it is mercy! May the gods pity the man who in his callousness can remain sane to the hideous end!” - H.P. Lovecraft, The Temple
So back around again to madness and the thrill of writing and griping the reader, I think we do need a certain kind of madness to do what we do creatively, to keep that tension, because if we have that passion in our minds and convey it to paper, the reader will sense that and be taken along for the ride.
And we want them on that ride.
"Madness in great ones must not unwatched go." - William Shakespeare, Hamlet
Certainly there are those who don't want such things in their reading materials, cozy mysteries perhaps, but the cozy crowd doesn't read my work and I don't write for them. I write for me and for you.
"There is nearly always is a method in madness." - G.K. Chesterton