Oscar Levant had said that Schizophrenia is better than eating alone.
If you have close-ones who are mentally ill you might not find this funny, but I find it funny and poignant.
Writing is lonely, and characters we invent become companions. We ask them questions. Sometimes they talk back.
When I began writing The Voice of Thunder, the setting was somewhat biographical. From the very first page the characters let me know they were themselves, not people from my past. They not only talked back to me, they had things to say I never knew.
I grew to like them very much, and they kept me company.
This is part of the writing process I still don’t understand. The day scientists chart the imagination and show us what it looks like on a scan, I may come back to revisit and revise my notions.
Until then I will continue to think of this process as coming from ‘other,’ and find Oscar Levant’s comment to be applicable every writing day. And I’m a sober person, no mental disorders here. Not officially-certifiably, anyhow.