Do you think there is a connection between good writers and "tortured souls"?
If not, why do you think that so many people think of the stereotypical writer/artist as a "tortured soul" or as someone who often suffers from depression etc. Do you think that this stereotype affects potential writers?
I personally think this really depends on the writer in question. Similarly, they usually say some of the best actors out there are bi-polar, however this really is hard to judge when you don't know the particular mental status of the individual.
With that being said, however, I have ADHD and I've been diagnosed with depression, and I've received numerous accolades from others I know on the quality of my writing. For me, the ADHD and depression are who I am and I think that totally affects how I write, however I don't necessarily think that's the case for everybody.
I cannot buy into the stereotype of the tortured, alcoholic writer even if I am from the South.
Look at it this way. If you have two equally talented writers one a tortured soul and the other living the same life everyone else is having, who is going to get the movie made about their life.
It is possible the tortured soul writes more than most people as a release and is just better because of practice. Or possibly.... the tortured artist cannot hold down a nine to five job and writes/paints/sings in order to pay the bills.
Most people with a so called "tortured soul," definitely think differently than people who are "normal." There have been recent scientific studies which have shown the connection between lower density receptors in the brain for dopamine (called D2 receptors), in the Thalamus, and high creativity. They have found other connections with dopamine and high creativity in other ways it funcions in the brain as well. Tortured souls just see and experience things others will never see or refuse to. I think they feel things differently sometimes and such deep and unavoidable sorrow, how can they not be able to put these extreme raw emotions to paper or music or whatever better than others might?
Not to mention the other proof. All the creative geniuses throughout history who were depressed, bipolar, or schizophrenic, a short list:
Edgar Allen Poe
William S. Burroughs
Not everyone who has been a highly creative writer etc. in history had mental illness of course but the fact is a huge number have.
P.S. Abraham Lincoln was a massive suicidal depressive, and I'm sure that's the only reason he is famous. Maybe they will make a movie about his life because of it.
I think one possibility for a connection of good writers and "tortured souls" is that good writers live vicariously through their characters in order to get into their heads. So, especially if they are writing about characters going through hard times, they are experiencing the conflict and setbacks that they are putting their characters through.
I think perhaps one connection may be that the very act of being "tortured" may indicate that these individuals are able to feel deep empathy and are moved deeply by the world around them. Not all people are.
Many people know what's going on around them, but not many people are moved passionately. "Tortured Souls" take empathy and passion to another level and it is often through music and verse that deep levels of passion and empathy are best captured.
I'm working on my third book and even I can recognise the connections between me and the storybook characters. Most of what you are inside has to come out sooner or later...
I believe most writers have a connection to what ever they are writing. Moods most certainly play a part. But "tortured souls" I think it would depend on what kind of story is told. Fantasy as much as experience makes for good story lines.
I was going to say yes because of all the deep things we write on, Sullivan below gave all of the proof. We must have that somewhere in our persona or else we wouldn't write so well.
Tortured souls probably write good psychotic/neurotic/chaotic stuff, but the ability to convey the message is not connected to the angst.
Someone who is a good writer...check out my hubs and those of lots of Hubbers... doesn't need to be tortured. In fact, being "redeemed" and heading to Heaven as Christian writers would say, can produce real quality positive writing...IF the person has good writing skills.
The stereotype is in part that they've gotten more press because the dark side of humanity is usually more attractive to readers.
It may affect potential writers, but if the writing bug bites, you'll scratch!
I was told in film school that no story exists without conflcit. A tortured soul is familiar with internal and external conflict giving them an edge over others with less conflict. Also, you write what you know and if what you know is dark, then you will write darker pieces. As writers we have the propensity to live in our heads too much.
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