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Mistress of distress
12-05-2009, 10:06 AM
I've recently just gone through a bit of rough stuff lately. Actually, a lot. I went home and wrote out my feelings in a small composition notebook I keep as a journal. Everything in it was depressing, my heart pouring out on the page, bleeding over the paper. I would have cried if I hadn't had been so cold (I was sitting outside, something I do for inspiration). Now I'm afraid that what I write in my novel next will have that same, depressing tone. That's not really what I'm going for. So will my own emotions affect my writing?

MacAllister
12-05-2009, 10:13 AM
They might.

But that's what revisions are for, you know? Just write. Write as hard as you can, as true as you can, and as honestly as you can. Tell the story with as much integrity as you can possibly summon, all the way to the end.

Then worry about the finer-tuning.

Mara
12-05-2009, 12:03 PM
They do, and I find I'm reluctant to write when I'm in a bad mood. I'm always scared I'll waste my time and write morbid stuff.

But the weird thing is, whenever I used to write anyway (when I had a deadline, usually), my writing actually came out a lot better than I thought it would. Sometimes it didn't have any of the negative emotion, or it translated the negative emotion into the text in an unexpected and interesting way.

Wayne K
12-05-2009, 12:28 PM
Of course they do. I think our feelings are what distinguish our work. For me, the creative part is in my storytelling, and my storytelling comes from my real life.

I don't mind morbid, in fact I love it if the scene is supposed to be morbid. I like anger if it's done right. A good storyteller makes you feel things. They make you laugh or cry or sigh. I write with that intention.




Then I revise.

thethinker42
12-05-2009, 01:05 PM
My moods definitely impact my writing. If I'm in a pissy mood, I'll usually pick a scene in which my characters are angry, upset, or whatever. Or, even better, a scene where someone is sniping at someone else. If I'm in a silly mood, then I pick a scene that fits that mood.

Of course this doesn't always apply...I've written happy scenes while I'm angry, sex scenes while I'm sick, sad scenes when I'm...erm...in the mood for a sex scene. But I've definitely been known to use my current mood to my advantage when writing a scene that's similar to that mood.

willietheshakes
12-05-2009, 01:32 PM
They do, and I find I'm reluctant to write when I'm in a bad mood. I'm always scared I'll waste my time and write morbid stuff.

But the weird thing is, whenever I used to write anyway (when I had a deadline, usually), my writing actually came out a lot better than I thought it would. Sometimes it didn't have any of the negative emotion, or it translated the negative emotion into the text in an unexpected and interesting way.

As someone who's making a living at it, I can say without fear of contradiction that "writing morbid stuff" does not equal a "waste of time".

scarletpeaches
12-05-2009, 05:12 PM
My physical health definitely affects my ability to write (looking at YOU, Mr Migraine).

Moods? Well, they don't affect my ability so much as my preference regarding which scene to write. The advantage of writing non-sequentially these days means I can pick a fight scene if I'm angry, a flirtatious scene if I'm feeling playful and so on.

But towards the end of the book, I have to write whatever's left to do, no matter what my mood so it's good to train yourself to work no matter what, so that when you're close to wrapping up a project you don't have to wait on your mood - your mood follows your need to get cracking.

icerose
12-05-2009, 07:22 PM
I've learned to conquer my moods with music. If I'm really upset I can't write.

I take a few minutes to just do breathing exercises. Then I pop in some music, my personal favorite are instrumental soundtracks.

Braveheart, The Last Samarui, Last of the Mohicans, Gladiator, Transformers are all really amazing sound tracks. Just let the music wash over you for a few minutes.

When you're in a good place again, then write. Think of writing as a separate existance and leave the outside world behind.

C.M.C.
12-05-2009, 09:11 PM
Of course they do. Everything we experience affects the way we write. We're not robots, although that would make writing a whole lot easier.

BigWords
12-05-2009, 10:35 PM
Use your anger, fear, happiness, sadness... Whatever else you are feeling. Work on scenes where the emotions you are feeling are in sympathy with the words on the page / screen.

RadioactiveFox
12-06-2009, 12:40 AM
I do the same thing as icerose. Music has the ability to influence my writing almost as much as my moods do.

That being said, I actually find it more therapeutic to write when I'm upset/angry/overly emotional than not to. And it usually produces my best writing too. If it wasn't for being upset in the first place, it really would be a win/win situation! :tongue

theantisplice
12-06-2009, 12:54 AM
My moods do affect my writing, yeah. I try to use them rather than stifle them. If my mood is really going to hinder or harm my current project, I work on something else more appropriate.

I went through a really dark period a few years back and produced some depressing pieces; I've written a lot of lighthearted stuff since, but there are some days/weeks where I just can't get into it. So I keep multiple projects going at once. Seems an effective solution.

I do vote for the importance of using one's feelings in writing, though. There are days I'd kill for some strong emotion to function as a muse. When it's there, I'm sure as hell not going to complain about it.

Michiru
12-06-2009, 01:08 AM
This is just me, but because my depression absolutely affects my writing, I have a story just for it. Of course writing is a discipline, and when working on something you intend to try and have published, you want to work on it daily.

But when I'm really in a crap mood, I bang out a page or two of my Depressing Story which has everyone suffering terribly in mental hospitals and such, and it often helps me feel better, and I haven't messed up my regular stories. :)

Ms Hollands
12-12-2009, 04:42 PM
My physical health definitely affects my ability to write (looking at YOU, Mr Migraine).


A fellow sufferer. My deepest empathy. I found a drug that works most of the time and doesn't knock me out, but it's taken five years, a pulled healthy tooth, all sorts of drugs that do nothing but cause extreme drowsiness and all sorts of drugs that dull the pain a bit but never make it go away. Finally, there is Isimig: migraine gone within hours of taking it, and no side effects (except for a slight nostril-burning sensation). IT's the frovofriptan family and if you haven't tried a drug from that family, do.


I digress. Yes, emotions totally affect my writing. I noticed this just a few weeks ago when I wrote about a skinned rabbit advertised in the butcher section of a supermarket catalogue that looked just like a human baby. The first draft was really lacklustre, but a few days later when my brain was in a chattier mode, the words flowed into something a bit more humorous.

Kalyke
12-12-2009, 09:40 PM
I feel they do. I have written depressing books during the 5 or so years I have been floundering financially, and emotionally. When my parents died, the grief of it erupted on the page in many ways, from my choice of book to the actual choice of writing. I think writing is a good snapshot into the writer's emotional state.

Jamesaritchie
12-12-2009, 09:51 PM
Writing is what I do to get away from moods. It's the one area of my life that never varies, the one place I can always go to get away from the depressing aspects of life.

I can't say for sure, but this might not be at all true if I couldn't sell what I write.

RG570
12-12-2009, 10:09 PM
Oh yeah. You should see some of the morose stuff I've written in poor moods.

Honestly? Some of it is pretty good. Just because something is depressing doesn't mean it's bad. I read something once that claimed depressed artists were better able to judge their own work than "normal" people . . . that depression actually causes one to be more realistic or objective about their work than people in normal states.

LOG
12-12-2009, 10:09 PM
I would say yes.

(Yay, 900th post.)

StandJustSo
12-13-2009, 12:37 AM
My mood can affect my writing, but a great deal of the time I find writing can take me out of a depressed or pissy mood and put me in a better place. Losing myself in the story at times is the best therapy I could ever find.

entropic island
12-13-2009, 12:49 AM
Yes. That's why we need beta readers and editors.

Well, it's not the only reason.

AryaT92
12-13-2009, 12:55 AM
I find my best writing comes when I do feel sad and depressed. I'm much more creative in that state I think.

ishtar'sgate
12-13-2009, 08:44 AM
I've recently just gone through a bit of rough stuff lately. Actually, a lot. I went home and wrote out my feelings in a small composition notebook I keep as a journal. Everything in it was depressing, my heart pouring out on the page, bleeding over the paper. I would have cried if I hadn't had been so cold (I was sitting outside, something I do for inspiration). Now I'm afraid that what I write in my novel next will have that same, depressing tone. That's not really what I'm going for. So will my own emotions affect my writing?
They might or you could have pumped it all out in your journal.