Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Crazy is for Writers and Serial Killers

This should come as no surprise to anyone, but I'm a little crazy.

I need to be in order to write, and I doubt I'm the only one. Think about it - writers spend most of their time lost in fictional worlds made up inside their heads. They hear voices, and see people and places that don't exist outside the confines of their medulla oblongata.

When I write, it's as if someone else is taking over my body, using my fingers to type. I go into an almost fugue state, where time ceases to have meaning. Hours will pass without my notice. I don't hear anything except the action going on inside my head. Seriously, Channing Tatum could be spinning naked from my ceiling fan and I probably wouldn't notice.

Probably. I'd like to test that theory, actually.

But I digress.

Do you know who else uses mental fugue states in order to get a job done? Who else listens to the voices in their heads? Who else feels as if someone is taking over their bodies?

Serial killers.

Scary, huh? The parallels between crazy-writer and crazy-hockey-mask-wearing-fiend are interesting, in a disturbing, urban legend kind of way.You know, like the one about the person who had a spider lay eggs in her ear and never knew until they hatched, and a bajillion baby spiders came swarming out. Creepy.

We, as in serial killers and writers, both compartmentalize. We can seem like pleasant, sweet, perfectly normal people when we need to be, but when the "fiend" takes over, when we're working, we will snarl and howl and possibly throw things if you dare interrupt our process. 

We both don't like to take responsibility for our actions. When we miss a deadline, we blame the characters in our story, not ourselves. "He refused to talk to me," or "My guys are not cooperating."  How many editors have heard that one?  

We don't like to have our fantasies challenged either. "What do you mean, no rational human being would run naked through the mall on Christmas Eve with a sprig of holly hanging out of his ass? What do you mean, no two men would have wild, kinky sex on a carousel during the Zombie Apocalypse? It makes perfect sense to me. You just don't have my vision, that's all."

Yeah, how many editors have heard that one, too?

Anyway, if you happen to see me staring at my keyboard with a blank, vacant look in my eyes, my fingers flying over the keys, you might not want to disturb me. Not without riot gear and a taser, that is.

I'm crazy that way. 


  1. Sounds like we have similar brains and a similar writing process. Except for the Channing thing. I'd definitely notice.

  2. LOL. I'd probably notice too. Then write him into a story. *grins*

  3. I'd definitely notice him. And write him into the story. After I helped him down and made sure he wasn't dizzy from all that spinning. He'd need to lie down a few minutes. ;)

  4. Kiernan, there were a couple of comments about this post on my Goodreads page. You can see them here: http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/3312286-crazy-is-for-writers-and-serial-killers?auto_login_attempted=true.