I've been working on The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Creativity. It's stirred many thoughts about former coworkers, former friends, and even family members as I deal with my own issues with creativity.
Today, I've been thinking about the crazymakers and creativity. When I was younger, I tried to help everyone. As I've grown older, my tolerance for other people's craziness has decreased substantially, as has my urge to help. In fact, when I see a crazymaker, I give that person a wide berth. The problem for me with a crazymaker colleague is that I get sucked into this person's problems and don't have to deal with any of my own (not my own family issues, my own work issues, and not my own creative challenges). It's a creative black hole for me.
The author of The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron, has this to say about crazymakers (which reminded me of many of the work situations that y'all write in about):
Crazymakers are those personalities that create storm centers. They are often charismatic, frequently charming, highly inventive, and powerfully persuasive. And, for the creative person in their vicinity, they are enormously destructive. you know the type: charismatic, but out of control, long on problems, and short on solutions.
Crazymakers are the kind of people who can take over your whole life. To fixer-uppers, they are irresistible: so much to change, so many distractions...
If you are involved with a crazymaker, you probably know it already, and you certainly recognize the thumbnail description in the paragraph above. Crazymakers like drama. If they can swing it, they are the star. Everyone around them functions as supporting cast, picking up their cues, their entrances and exits, from the crazymaker's (crazy) whims (pp. 44 and 45).
You might want to pick up a copy of The Artist's Way for more information on how to work creatively.