Just read Dan's essay on the fire inside and holding the daimon. (Forgive my lazy words, its been a long day).
I've experienced this fire in spurts, including (sans Greek terminology and framing) deep introspection to remove ego-driven delusions/illusions and seek to have a more universal perspective in which my self/ego and its motivations are clear, which may come out in sardonic tones or otherwise humorous pokes at myself in the writing. These periods correspond to hypo-manic/manic phases which I've also studied and written about over the years as spiritual awakening and transformation -- a perspective I personally find far healthier than pathologizing and sedating.
I share this as I'm so curious about the premise of choosing to stoke the fire and harness it with all its demonic aspects as a forge of creation/destruction, and I love Dan's enumerating of the various unseemly ends to great writers. It's very true that creative genius is playing with madness at times.
Thanks for this essay -- brilliant as always. I am still forming my questions around such things but wanted to share.
On a related note that I'll try to make only this once -- I am intending to share personal notes like this one at times not out of narcissism but as I truly welcome being yet more lit on fire by Dan and other experienced (and published) writers here. People tell me I can write but I aspire to be a Writer. Drew Barrymore once said that acting is an exorcism so I took some acting classes and damned if she ain't onto something there too. Related to this related note, I am resisting the urge to apologize for being lesser formed. We all gotta start somewhere. (But *set* a man on fire and you'll keep him warm for the rest of his life.)