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Ellis Anne Clemens
Graduate Creative Writing 3
Paper 1: The Writer’s Curse
Long have writers been known to struggle in the matters of life and love. Edgar Allen Poe lost his one true love, Virginia Eliza Clemm, in 1847. Ernest Hemingway married four times before he committed suicide in 1961. Every love Barbara Cartland left her or died, and she passed away single in the year 2000. Edgar Rice Burroughs never found true love, divorcing twice and dying alone.
Not only this, but writers also are known to have minds slightly different from the rest of the population. Studies show that writers are twice as likely to be affected with depressive disorders than those that follow other creative pursuits. Compared to most work fields, psychological disorders are vastly more prevalent in authors than in others.
Alcoholism in writers is almost a norm, and has been something seen frequently for centuries. Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Jack Kerouac may be the most famous for their drinking addictions, but after digging around, it can be seen that many popular writers in history have suffered, and in some cases even died from it.
Now, these are all concrete things that can be observed about writers, but why these trends exist is a mystery. It can be theorized that any one of these trends is a result of another, and they all work together to brew the perfect storm, but the question is, where does it start, and why? Maybe writers use up all of their love in their works, and that is why they frequently struggle with it so heavily in their lives. Perhaps their happiness is all in the words they write, and that is why they become depressed with their reality. Or maybe, the reality is the original depressing aspect that causes them to drink and write. Creativity comes at a cost, it seems, and that cost is normalcy and stability.
This is the Writer’s Curse. It seems to be unbreakable except in rare circumstances and strange twists of fate.
And despite all of my efforts, it so happens that I too have fallen victim to this curse.