Monday, February 28, 2011


Last week I read a post from writerjenn about writing for revenge or out of anger and it started some interesting thoughts about emotions while writing.   At least I thought they were interesting which is why I’m blogging about them.

I can’t write when I’m feeling any extreme emotion.  Now I know that at first glance this seems counterproductive but let me explain.  As an author I need to feel the emotions while writing or the reader won’t feel them while reading correct?  The thing for me is that I have to be feeling the characters’ emotions not my own.  If I’m having a huge emotion day, maybe I just had an argument with someone and am still angry, or I just got a book deal (I’m imagining the explosion of joy I would feel (after the shock wears off of course) but it hasn’t happened yet so it’s still theoretical.)  Strong, intense emotions tied to my life keep me from being able to slip into my characters’ lives and world.  I’m too much inside myself at those times. 

I know I need to experience strong emotion so I can recognize it when my characters feel it and recreate it on paper, but if I can’t forget myself long enough to sink into my character it’s no good.  I need the possibility of emotion when I write.  Just enough to keep me open to my characters’ feelings but not overwhelm them with my own.

Do you write during emotional highs, lows, or in-between?    


  1. It all depends on what I am writing. If I'm writing an editorial or high impact article-high emotions. Low emotional states are saved for my novel writing. The in-between is probably my best all around writing time because I can go either way.

  2. I TRY writing during the highs and lows, but inevitably I end up deleting most of it. I write best when I can achieve an almost meditative state, then I can go for hours non-stop and have to set a timer to bring me back to my neglected body.

  3. Jo, it's interesting how different states can impact different types of writing, and great that you know how it works for you.

  4. Widdershins, I get good work done when I get into that state where I forget I'm not my character.