All of us want to belong.
I live in the deep south. Finding like minded people feels impossible. Not only is there the issue of the conservative religious beliefs so ingrained in the people around here, but there is a sort of normalcy that people have to conform to. Perhaps it’s the same everywhere and perhaps that’s what makes the internet great for finding like minded individuals.
My writing can be dark, though. Maybe not so much my scifi stuff, the more tame writing, but my horror certainly is. It’s perverse, pushing taboos, bordering on torture porn and containing, as a professor of mine said, “Fucked Up Logic”. That’s what I like to write, it’s where I feel at home. It’s where I take the blood in my veins and the toxic black sludge in my psyche and smear it on a page because I need to get it out. My writing is my way of expelling all of the messed up stuff I think or have experienced and keeping myself sane.
But it is a lonely form of writing. People tend to think it’s sick (and it is) or gross. It’s strange. It leads me to odd threads of research like “How much blood is in the human body?” or “How long can a person be boiled alive before they die?”
It’s lining my books shelves with thick paperbacks bearing the titles: “Writer’s Guide to Death”, “A to Z Serial Killers”, “The Big Book of Pain: Torture and Punishment Through History”. All for research, of course, all to find inspiration for the next great story that is waiting to be scribbled into a notebook, but that cause family or friends to ask, “So… Are, uh, are you okay?”
It’s the sort of thing that gets you weird looks when you talk about a new piece of writing you’re working on.
“The main character gets eaten alive.”
“She thinks she’s dead and her lover murders her to set her free”
“He cannibalizes people he loves.”
Twisted themes interspersed with ruminations of death and corpses and the limits of the human body. It’s bloody and beautiful in the worst sort of way.
There is nothing more reassuring than knowing that you aren’t alone. There are others out there that enjoy this same sort of writing and write it themselves.
It’s freedom. It’s the relief of finding your peers, those people who can be just as twisted and that tell you you aren’t alone.
While moving around the HWA forums, I found the term “Splatterpunk” and a quick google search brought up all of my favorite authors. This was a sub-genre I had been a part of, that I had long loved, which has a cult following, that before now I hadn’t even known existed.
Find your place. Find your people. No matter how odd your interests, how those around you may frown or give you weird looks. You aren’t alone. There are friends there in the dark corners, just as hidden as you are, feeling just as alone.