My Drug of Choice

By Susan Brown


Creativity is like a narcotic, and writing is my drug of choice. I admit I’ve dabbled in painting, sketching and crafts, but writing is the place where I can​​ soar away from​​ a troubling world​​ and its​​ daily irritations.​​ 


My day to day life is pretty much like everyone else’s –​​ the furnace is making weird noises and the repair​​ people can’t​​ come​​ until​​ maybe next June;​​ politicians​​ are making decisions​​ I​​ would question in a​​ sane​​ 4-year-old;​​ my daughter is struggling to find rent money;​​ the weathermen are predicting​​ mega​​ storms that will crash civilization.​​ 


So what’s a girl to do?​​ Hysteria or something else?​​ I hate hangovers, I’m an introvert and​​ devoted rule-follower. Drinking, wailing, and rioting just doesn’t turn my crank.​​ 


But it’s cool.​​ I got this.


I pick up a pen or flip open​​ my​​ computer and​​ I am​​ on the road to a world where good and evil are clearly marked,​​ the​​ heroine triumphs​​ no matter​​ what,​​ gold flows to the deserving (me!)​​ and the elements​​ sigh happily​​ in response​​ to the innate goodness in our hearts.​​ The windstorms fade away, the​​ roaring problems of the world​​ are​​ silenced, and the greater good is​​ no longer​​ a matter of hotly​​ conflicting​​ opinions.


I can breathe again.


Freud​​ once​​ commented​​ that​​ artists and the​​ mentally ill explore​​ the same territory – but artists​​ find their way home.​​ My mind goes a-wandering across blasted landscapes, through forests of struggle,​​ and into cities of hope. If I can see them, I can build them.​​ And like every artist, when I create, I invite​​ everyone​​ to come along too.​​ We have things to do, places to go, and people to see.


We all​​ realize that no matter how loud we​​ scream,​​ or how carefully​​ we​​ invest, the​​ workings of the​​ world​​ are​​ beyond​​ our​​ control.​​ 


Then​​ what?


For some​​ the solution is​​ getting​​ more – more money, more shoes, more chocolate. For some it is emotional​​ tsunamis– jokes, abuse,​​ anger,​​ tears.​​ 


But for me, the real happy pill lies in​​ creativity –​​ the wellspring of​​ vision.​​ Our vision, individually and collectively, has​​ created dance, statues,​​ music,​​ paintings, literature,​​ PacMan,​​ bridges,​​ movies,​​ skyscrapers. It has created the utopian visions of Star Trek, the heart of Oliver Twist, the romance of Cathy and Heathcliffe, the righteous anger of​​ Beloved.​​ 


I​​ need the soaring​​ spires of Gothic cathedrals;​​ I​​ need Degas’​​ delicate​​ Dancers;​​ I​​ need Indiana Jones, Anne of Green Gables,​​ Sherlock Holmes and Harry Potter.​​ 


Look up. Look around.​​ Look into the world,​​ “…and you will be upheld in more than this.”


And so in my grubby work clothes, and​​ with​​ my apprentice skill, I begin​​ again. And I know that out there, my fellow dreamers are beginning too.​​ I can’t wait to share the visions of​​ our hearts.

About The Author

I love to write! And I love to write for teens. Since I was a kid, bored with school, I’ve been making up stories. Eventually I became a journalist, got married, had kids, adopted dogs and started writing books in earnest. Three followed, plus two more co-authored with Anne Stephenson.

I’ll be publishing a half dozen new books in the next year or two, some fantasy and some realistic which I hope will appeal to teen readers – I’ve had quite a few kids read them and gotten a thumbs up! Check out my website at