♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Do you think someone could be a writer
if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
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I thought this was a great question and couldn’t wait to answer. Unequivocally, yes. Anyone can be a writer, who studies and hones their craft. As a professor once said to a class I attended, “Do you write? Then you are a writer.”
Part of my journey in writing, and life, has lead me to study the lack of emotion in human beings. This is known as sociopathy, a personality disorder called Anti-Social Personality Disorder (ASPD). Sometimes it is linked with narcissism, but the latter is focused on themselves and their needs. Sociopaths fully lack the ability of emotion. It’s a bit more complicated, yes, but that’s what it boils down to. (Psychopathy is used interchangeably with sociopath but is not exactly the same.) And there is a scale, or degree, to which the disorder affects the individual who has it.
Anyway, before I take you on a psychology course, let’s get back to the ability of someone with such a disorder being able to write. Writing doesn’t rely on our effectiveness with emotions. Writing relies on the author’s effectiveness with written language. This is a learned skill.
The thing about sociopaths is that they can learn to identify emotions, even if they struggle to do so in others, as well as learning to emote (what seems) properly. It remains an act for them, because they are not actually capable of having emotions. (Narcissists, conversely, only see their own emotions as mattering–a sociopathic narcissist is a malignant individual). Thus, this does not prevent them from writing.
The act of writing, be it fiction or nonfiction, is about putting together effective strings of sentences with which to make a simple point or greater meaning. In the case of creative writing, you’re making a lot of stuff up. Why wouldn’t someone without emotions be able to do that? Those who have emotions but struggle with communicating them appropriately would face a similar learning curve.
You might be able to make the argument that their writing would suffer from the lack of emotion. However, a lot of these people function in society unseen. Not every sociopath is a death row murderer. Unfortunately, in most cases, until you’ve had some time with them, you’ll not recognize it. As I mentioned before, they learn to emote properly in an effort to blend.
So, all of this aside…
Writing is about sharing information, sometimes stories, and the kinship of the human condition. Well, the human condition isn’t the same for every human. To deny someone, who may have a disorder that renders them emotionless, the ability to write is wrong. In fact, their work would provide psychologists a lot to digest. But, mostly, the truth is, that emotions aren’t required for writing in the ways that some think they are.
Those who struggle to appropriately express themselves can be taught to do so. Every writer has obstacles to overcome in the journey to becoming their best writer. Someone without emotion would just add this as another obstacle to overcome with research (including trial and error). They may have excellent writing skills, and thus learning emotional intelligence is their lone struggle in the field of writing. Trust me. They can overcome it if they put their focus on achieving that end.