I write horror, suspense, and thrillers so I naturally have this tendency to dig deep inside for disturbing behavior that I can use in my works. I've written prose of extreme horror, death by means most people would cringe, and suspense that would be marked too realism for most.
But all this disturbing behavior of my characters are not me. I don't stalk women, nor do I pray on the innocent -- depraved behavior that drives my antagonistic characters. I'm a nice guy by my nature, so it pains me sometimes to exploit these feelings for my work. I love my writing, to a point I get excited by the dismal failings of humans when suffering, and yet I am troubled that these same thoughts that make my work believable are able to surface so easily.
I've seen dead prostitutes, murdered people, the scabs of humanity that walks silently while taking life without remorse, as I've seen and experienced so much pain in my time here. Now I draw upon these emotions for my work and it disturbs me sometimes.
How do people manage to remain sane when writing about insanity, chaos, death, or any form of humility at the hands of an antagonistic character?
I'm at a loss within myself to be the nice guy and the same man who will gladly open a wound to see my own suffering as a writer.
Any thoughts about the anguish of writing a genre that is so disturbing that it also affects your mental health?
P.S. I am writing a short story now about a young man who drags a dead uncle into Walmart (generic store) to cash the uncle's social security check. So, I must feel and think as this boy which bothers me a little.