Thursday, September 29, 2005


Ah me. At times when I start feeling sorry for myself I pick up one of Julia Cameron's books for a good kick up the arse.

Her attitude can be summarised as "Quit moaning - the problems in your life are your own because you let them be". (My paraphrase.) And painful as it is to take on board, she's right. Tough love, because tough love is needed. For writers. For all creatives. Hell, for just about anyone who wants to live happily ever after.

One thing she's tough about, is getting rid of the folks she calls crazymakers. She writes in The Artist's Way:

A ... thing that creatives do to avoid being creative is to involve themselves with crazymakers. Crazymakers are those personalities that create storm centres. They are often charismatic, frequently charming, highly inventive, and powerfully persuasive. And, for the creative person in their vicinity, they are enormously destructive. ... Crazymakers are the kind of people who can take over your whole life. To fixer-uppers they are irresistible ...
And she identifies a few behaviours that crazymakers exhibit (though I reckon that no single crazy maker encompasses all these behaviours - could anyone be that bad?)
  • Crazymakers break deals and destroy schedules
  • Crazymakers expect special treatment.
  • Crazymakers discount your reality.
  • Crazymakers spend your time and money.
  • Crazymakers triangulate those they deal with.
  • Crazymakers are expert blamers.
  • Crazymakers create dramas - but seldom where they belong.
  • Crazymakers hate schedules - except their own.
  • Crazymakers hate order.
  • Crazymakers deny that they are crazymakers.
  • I'd add to the list that crazymakers seldom know the word 'thank you', and never ever the word 'sorry'. Anything you do for them is never more than they expected anyway, and nothing that goes wrong can possibly be their fault. They are what you might call, emotionally dyslexic.

    I worked with the worst crazy maker I've ever known, not so long ago and barely survived the experience with my sanity intact. I live with a part-time crazy maker who he can still have me in tears of exasperation, even though I should be wiser by now. I had a crazy maker mum who destroyed my confidence. Others, I've let into my life by choice, because although I knew from the start that they were crazy, I cared enough to want to help. (Yep, am a "fixer-upper" for sure.) They exact a heavy emotional toll they exact, and deplete your creative energy.

    Well, Cameron says we are only involved with them because we are self-destructive and are trying to block our own creativity. We self-sabotage rather well.

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