I’m so sick - like, physically sick - of people thinking it’s funny to compare having a mental illness to being a writer.
Being quirky and weird and awkward alone neither makes you a writer nor does it make you mentally ill. Writing makes you a writer. That’s it. I know a lot of us like to talk about how special we are just because we write and how people don’t understand us and I’m hardly denying that we don’t face a certain amount of obstacles, since writing is difficult and can be seen as childish and isn’t believed to be a viable career choice, but it doesn’t give you a free pass to be a complete asshole. You are not above criticism. You are not protected by some special writer’s forcefield. You still have to think of how your words affect other people.
Until you are hallucinating or putting tape over holes in your walls so they can’t see you and struggling to differentiate between reality and fantasy and the many, many other symptoms, you do not get to compare schizophrenia to being a writer.
I am both mentally ill and a writer. There is a vast difference between the two, and when you reduce mental illness to ~writerly quirks~ you are being ableist, undermining and erasing mentally ill people, and perpetuating harmful stereotypes.