Creative Sociopaths!
Raymond Briggs and Creative Socio-paths!

November 21, 2015

As you know, life in the arts here in Soho is a constant financial struggle and I’ve been looking at an author Crowdfunding platform called Unbound as a way of helping out. And, of course, I'm desperately hoping Patreon will help!  But as I have both Charles Dickens AND William Shakespeare lined up to provide an introduction to my next book - more about that later perhaps - I’m thinking of using the Unbound service, if they’ll have me.

I was checking them out and came across this, from Raymond Briggs’ pitch of a book he’s hosting on the platform. For the last few years Raymond has also been writing a regular column for The Oldie, 'Notes from the sofa’.

His new book is overfunded, of course, but you can find the link here.

But I loved how the man most famous for ‘The Snowman’, described himself and writers and I reproduce it here, hoping he won’t mind as I’m crediting him and his new book!

The Excerpt

Bring back creative socio-paths

Having recently written of my discovery that I am a stereotype, it was a relief to find that the label does have its compensations.

Also, for the last 17 years I have had on my wall of my workroom an article from the Times by the great Doctor Stuttaford. It has stood me in good stead for almost two decades. Thanks a million, Doc!

Why Gifted Artists Pay a High Price for their Vocation, is the title.

‘Creative people often find it difficult to comply with the demands of a prosaic world [such as Ingrams and The Oldie, R.B.]. The artistically gifted are frequently so dedicated to their vocation, whether it is music, visual arts or writing, that they can appear SELF-ABSORBED, IMPULSIVE, IMPATIENT AND INTOLERANT [Yes! My CAPS. R.B.] Even in my medical lifetime there was a sub-group whom psychiatrists labelled creative socio-paths – a term now abandoned.’

What a shame! I like it. I am definitely a creative socio-path. I am impatient and intolerant of stupid PC people wanting to tidy up the language. What’s twrong with being self-absorbed? It’s better than being absorbed in someone else, so ‘in love’ that you can’t think straight or get on with work. Also, it’s being impulsive and impatient that gets things done, otherwise you might spend hours gawping at your mobile phone or garbage on the telly. In the War, it was intolerance that got rid of Hitler, Buchenwald and Belsen.

Being labelled a psychiatric type with a proper title is reassuring. It helps you to understand who you are and where you stand. It gives you the kind of reassurance that religions must give their believers. ‘You are a sinner!’ Er… well yes, I suppose so. ‘You will burn in hell!; Um… oh dear. I’d better try and be good then.

Millions of people find this comforting. At least it tells them what they are and where they are going. So why should we creative socio-paths be denied the comfort of our label?

We won’t go to hell, will we?