Writers’ Traits (Quirks?)

Writers’ Traits (Quirks?)

When I was still warping young minds in my “Intro Psychology” course, I tried to emphasize the fact that we all have personal ‘issues’, problems for which psychologists have a label. It is just that the degree to which the problem is serious varies greatly. Unfortunately the label usually doesn’t include any such qualifier. So when describing someone by that label, the implicit implication is that he or she is at the extreme end of the scale.

We all get ‘depressed’, but it isn’t necessarily severe or chronic enough to need treatment or lead to repeated suicide attempts or complete withdrawal from the real world. We all have addictions. We all have memory problems. We all have learning problems. We even all have hallucinations, but not so constantly or intense as to motivate destructive behaviour, as with someone who has schizophrenia.

Some of those ‘problems’ (which are better described as behavioural tendencies) are more common in certain occupations. (Or genders or countries or income status.) Writers are known for some specific ones, which often are assumed to be related to their creativity.

I’m hesitant to generalize, but I think I’m reasonably aware of my own tendencies. And I’ve been thinking about how common they are to other writers.

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