If you read this blog for any amount of time, you’ve no doubt noticed that I often struggle with the balance between writing, real life, and the job. Sometimes that even makes me cranky, stressed, or sad. 🙁 <- See the sad face to the left for graphical representation.
This brings me to a night last weekend where I was feeling a little down as went in our computer/writing room (a.k.a. the kitchen table) with full intentions of cleaning up and resubmitting a short story, but just couldn’t get it to go anywhere. The simple fact was that my heart just wasn’t in it.
So many writers say that they’ll use their writing to work out their fears or frustrations or sorrows, or whatever, but I’m not like that. My emotions don’t really drive my fiction. I don’t write horror to escape real-world horror; I write horror because it’s fun. I don’t write futuristic science fiction because I’m disgusted with the present; I write futuristic science fiction because aliens are cool. (And so are spaceships.) I don’t write fantasy because I hate real life, I write fantasy because it’s challenging.
I guess some might say that means I lack passion, or that my motivations aren’t real. Maybe it means I’m not a real writer, or maybe it means I’ll forever be an amateur.
I don’t know. I suppose it can be beneficial to put your current (temporary) emotional state on paper, but I’m not wired that way. For one thing, once the emotion wears off, you’re stuck with the work of cleaning up what you wrote. And honestly if you had a bad day at the day job, do you really want your characters whining about it for you?
Another thing is if I’m angry, or sad, or stressed, I don’t like to dwell on it. If I bring it into my fiction, it’ll just seem forced to me. Like I’m trying too hard to come off as one of those “tortured soul” writers, when I’m the farthest thing from it.
I write my best when I’m in a good, positive mood. I guess when it comes down to it, that’s how I view writing. Outside of parenting, it is one of the most positive uplifting things I can do, regardless of how dark and disturbing a story might be.
So why soil that with the negative emotions of a moment?
What about you? Does your emotional state while you’re writing affect your writing? Leave a comment a let us know!