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Writing means different things to me. I'm a storyteller, a book editor, and a songwriter. For me, it's like breathing.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Does a having a creative mind come at a price?

In light of the latest actor or creative talent to die from a drug overdose, I started thinking about the high number of creative people that die young from an overdose or suffer from depression or other mental condition.
In my own experience writing songs and now stories, I have always felt that I have one foot in another world when in the creative process. I don’t know if this is some kind of magic or if I am drawing on a higher power when writing a song or story, but there is something that can’t be fully explained that is present during the creation process. I wonder if creative people straddle that line between the living and the dead and if they don’t have something to anchor them to the land of the living, they can slip away.
If you think about it anyone who acts or writes has to be a little bit different from a normal person. I always feel a little disconnected from everything around me as if my thoughts are stuck in another place. This happens more often when I am deep into a story. I hear dialog in my head. I visualize scenes. Some people would call this madness. Maybe some creative minds have to rely on drugs and alcohol to cope with this.
The Irish myth of the Leanan Sidhe comes to mind. She is usually depicted as a beautiful muse, offering inspiration in exchange for love and devotion. Unfortunately, according to the legend, the artist goes mad and dies young.
I’m lucky to have anchors to this world; otherwise I would probably lose my grip on reality because my fantasy worlds are much more interesting and compelling. It’s easy to get lost in my story worlds, and that’s okay, as long as I can keep that one foot in this world—the one that really matters.

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author

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