Find Your Insanity, Learn to Teter on That Edge
If you want to be a successful writer there are a million things you should know.
You have to know about style, voice, character development. A writer has to know how to research and discover and learn new things. You have to know grammar and spelling and have some idea of the three-act system.
There is one thing, though, above all others that you must learn. One thing that you will fail until you understand.
It’s not a hook, it’s not a query letter, it’s internal and individual to every writer: You have to find the insanity.
Writing Causes Insanity
The fact is, writing will make you go mad. You will lose your fucking mind. You will. Expect it.
Some writers are too scared to lose their minds. These writers are decent writers but never reach for greatness because they are holding themselves back.
Other writers fear nothing and shoot for the moon, reach it and then shoot for Pluto (name dropping, respect). These writers are good writers but have started coming down the other side of greatness mountain. Perhaps they hit greatness for a moment and then shot past it, or in some cases, they over shot and kept going anyway.
To be great, to really stand out, to achieve your goals you have to put your fears in your pocket and forget them. Shoot for those stars and land on greatness. When you do this you will begin to slowly lose your mind. Clinical insanity seems like an extremely viable option.
The trick is to throttle it back just enough. Land on the edge of greatness, teeter back and forth over that ledge. Keep your foot on the gas moving forward but the hand brake up to keep you in check.
Greatness is insane. Go find it. Reach it. Play in it for a while, then take it down one notch and stay there.
You’ll be great the whole time you do. If you feel you are slipping, let the hand brake go a bit and get back in it. Feel you are too far gone, ease off the accelerator and find that balance again.
It always changes, it always moves, and you need to ride that wave until it reaches the shore.