This month I'm participating in the A to Z Blogger's Challenge, found here. Every day of April (except for Sundays), we are posting a blog with the theme of A to Z.

Q is for Quotes.

More specifically, one quote: 

"Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia."  ~E.L. Doctorow

This is one of my all time favorite quotes about writing.

As a writer, I have a thousand little voices in my head. As I go through my day, I am bombarded with voices. I see a car on the road driving recklessly, and I think that would be a great scene in a novel. I'm in a coffee shop and I overhear someone talking about their son who is in jail, and I think there's my next plot.

According to PubMed:

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that makes it hard to:
  • Tell the difference between what is real and not real 
  • Think clearly 
  • Have normal emotional responses 
  • Act normally in social situations 

At first, you may have the following symptoms:
  • Irritable or tense feeling 
  • Trouble concentrating 
  • Trouble sleeping 

Disorganized schizophrenia symptoms may include:
  • Childlike behavior 
  • Problems thinking and explaining your ideas clearly 
  • Showing little emotion 

Writing, at times, feels like schizophrenia. You've got a million voices telling you what to write and what to do. It's impossible to concentrate on any one thing. You react abnormally to a social situation because you're thinking about how your character would react in that situation instead. When you lay down to sleep, your mind runs full speed ahead. You're distanced from the world, alone in your fictional one, and yet when you sit down to write, you have trouble communicating your ideas clearly.

Sometimes it's so easy to get caught up in the haphazard world of writing and surrender ourselves to it. But it's important to recognize that this is the life of a writer. As a writer, you seek the story in your head in its entirety. You want that little voice to become a loud, obnoxious voice clamoring for escape until it emerges, like Athena from Zeus' head: fully grown and authoritative. And a writer won't stop until it is. Because only that can silence the voice.