Howl at the Moon

Howling Wolf“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” — Allen Ginsberg
Do you follow Ginsberg’s advice — in your writing and/or in your everyday life?

An interesting and thought provoking daily prompt today.

Before I start it is worth specifying that in this context, madness is to the level of zany, or dare I say it weird. I’m not talking about bona fide mental health problems, which are a whole other kettle of fish of which the sufferer often has very little control of.

So should you hide the madness or let it all show?

For writing, definitely let everything come out. A writer’s erm… writing should not only encapsulate what they are trying to get across but also who they are, and I think that it is the bit of madness in everyone that truly describes who you are. Not to mention that I think that creativity spawns from this madness itself, and to deny your own madness is to deny your creativity. This is something that a fiction writer can’t allow to happen, maybe even non-fiction writer too, not sure.

When it comes to real-life, I don’t think many people consciously think ‘I’m going to do something mad now’ it is just something that they do because of genetics, environment, emotional state, and a whole host of other reasons too numerous to count. Some people will always just see things in different ways. The way to see creatively is what has enabled our species to create, invent, build and learn. Was it mad for that first cave-man to bang two bits of flint together and make fire? Obviously not, he just gave in to his own brief moment of madness and civilisation was born. Mind you the same could be said for the guy splitting the atom, so creativity does not always end with a positive outcome.

I guess the outcome of this possibly-a-little-too-much-ramble post is that I think a person’s ‘madness’ is an intrinsic part of who they are, and will find a way to break out.

Either that or it’s like a muscle. You have to make sure that you use it every day otherwise it will atrophy and before you know it you’re working for an English bureaucracy.


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