During college, I loved to escape into a good mystery, to take a break from the seemingly endless required reading. One of my favorite authors from that era of my life was Sara Paretsky with her V.I. Warshawski series set in Chicago. Looking back on her books, I realize now how she hooked me so well. She got into her protagonist’s head.
Did swimming in the emotional depths of an imaginary person mean she was a crazy writer? Not at all.
And must one be crazy to be a writer or to pursue any sort of creative endeavor? Again, not at all.
When I spot dysfunction in people, I recognize that something is off-kilter with them. Either they cannot keep up with the rigors of daily life, or they’ve misplaced their joie de vivre.
I believe the most successful people in the most important job—living life well—strike a balance between daydreaming (on the page, behind the camera, on canvas, whatever outlet it may be) and doing routine tasks (making the bed, going grocery shopping, etc., etc.). So I agree with Paretsky that we need functionality as a foundation for creativity to blossom.
Instead of form follows function (a nice alliteration from modern architecture and design), how about this equation:
1/2 functionality + 1/2 creativity = 1 whole person