Does being a nutjob help or hinder the writing process? Well it depends on what kind of crazy you are talking about. I know quite a few good writers and they tend to be sane, as in they don’t murder people. They are self aware and don’t do stupid things. But it does pay to be different. Any good writer needs to have a unique perspective of reality, otherwise they will just churn out the same old boring shit. Every good writer I know is not generally a ‘normal’ person. They haven’t led necessarily weird lives but they are definitely not run of the mill. It helps to be a little crazy if you’re writing something out of the ordinary. An overactive imagination helps as well. I couldn’t write half the weird stuff I’ve written without a little crazy happening upstairs.
However being crazy can hinder the writing process a lot. For instance I find it really hard to write while I’m hallucinating that I’m turning into a werewolf. I think crazy is alright if you actually realise the extent of it and can separate it from reality. I know when I’m not being normal and can remove myself from it, even use it if I think it will be entertaining or good. Unfortunately you do get a lot of people who write books and mistake their own insanity for talent. Maybe I’m one of them. If I am well…shit.
So basically crazy doesn’t really help or hinder the writing process, talent does. If you are talented and crazy you will write some really weird, good shit. If you are not talented and crazy you will make a lot of people laugh, not in a good way.