Sometimes I scare myself with my writing, and that's not a sly way of saying I'm "scary good" or so effective that my sense of suspense gets to even me. The subject matter may or may not be inherently scary. The writing may or may not be of any quality. What scares me is what my writing reveals is inside me somewhere. Sometimes, I would rather it not be there.
"Pre-writing" is what I call it when I'm thinking about what I'm going to write and playing around with the actual sentences and structures in my mind. Right now, I'm pre-writing a short story that literalizes certain aspects of Hegelian philosophy. Sounds really dry, right? It plays out as a first person chronicle of becoming a sociopathic killer. Sounds less dry, yes?
I'm not sure I'm in love with the fact that I can identify enough with a sociopathic killer to write a first person story from that perspective. It's a little creepy. I know authors do things like that all the time. I've read stories like that and never been bothered. But writing it myself? Looking at those dark, terrible words and knowing they're in my voice? That's a whole other experience, and I'm not always comfortable with it.
It's true that I am endorsing neither the sociopathic lifestyle, nor necessarily the Hegelian philosophy that led me down that path. I am exploring. I am playing with ideas by playing with words. It's also true that dark, terrible words reflect a reifying of philosophical abstracts from generations ago. They do not reflect my own thoughts. They interpret someone else's. Even so, the voice is my own. And, like most (many?) authors, I am pretty immersed in what I write or pre-write, so the voice is not even my own through a distant echo. It's pretty intimate.
And that's what scares me.
How easily some aspect of my personality can take on the thoughts and motivations of a sociopathic killer and feel them intimately.
Not sure what to make of that, but there it is.