Writing & Mood

Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh

I had planned to write about battles or a humorous post about how to become a published author.  Though, I still remember writing something like that second one before.  Might have been on writing process.  Here we have the problem though.

My mind is rather scattered and my mood is still in a state of Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh.  I look at the comments and posts that I want to read through.  I’m trying to pull out the spark and charm, but this morning seems to be dragging.  If I’m a ‘liker’ for a day or two then I apologize.  I probably have to fix up what I wrote yesterday while I was in the bad mood.  Nyx and friends had a climactic fight with a ghost, but right after that was a ‘I’m fine’, ‘Let’s go’, and cliffhanger.  Today, I’m supposed to write a somewhat romantic scene and then back to the battle.  Again, I’m fractured and avoiding the topic that is on my mind.  I should be blunt.

An author, at least with fiction, is an open wound in terms of emotions.  We put our hearts into our words and put it out for the world to do with as they will.  So, for all our talk of thick skin and shrugging stuff off, there is always a part of us that is sensitive.  I don’t want to get into reviews, but I’m making a point that an author can have a day where their mood simply plummets.  It can be caused by a bad review, a personal problem, gloomy weather, or any number of things.  We’re emotional processors with faulty off-switches, which is why the drunken, tortured author is such a prominent figure.

So, what does this mean for our writing when we hit these moods?  You’ll see it in the words.  There will be a rush to the end or mood swings from your characters.  They might even seem lifeless.  Take what I wrote yesterday.  It was going along slowly as the characters explored the chamber and found a barrier to get through.  Ghosts started causing trouble.  Nyx freaked out to handle it.  This is where it went downhill.  There was no banter or talking afterwards.  It did a swift . . . I can’t even figure out what to say about it.  It wasn’t good.  In fact, I might have blown by the best way to end.  Dang it!  Fractured thoughts.

How can you fix it?  Depends on the cause, but some people simply step away from the writing until they’re settled.  Others accept that a big editing job will need to be done and mark that area.  Then there are the ones (Yo!) that continue writing and see what happens to the scene.  This is nothing more than the childish, foolish version of the previous idea.  The truth is that you have to decide by mood swing and not make a general ‘always do this’ when faced with emotional turmoil.  Writing through might work for frustration, but curling up with a pint of ice cream might work better for sadness.  Every emotion requires a different cure.

I will point out that we never have this problem with positive emotions.  Those are what drive us while the negative ones are hindrances to a point.  We still need those darker emotions to put them on the paper, so they’re definitely necessary evils or whatever you want to call them.  So, an author shouldn’t cut themselves off from the darker emotions because that can have dire consequences for their writing as well.  The trick is all about control and accepting that sometimes, you simply don’t have it and need to find a safe way out of the storm.

This post isn’t as insightful and informative as my typical ‘Thought’ posts are.  It’s just an observation.  Authors are their emotions whether they like to admit it or not.  We’re sensitive and that can lead to emotional trouble without warning.  That’s where I am now and I hope to push through it to finish at least 1 chapter this week.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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74 Responses to Writing & Mood

  1. MishaBurnett says:

    I usually don’t handle that very well–I tend to look at the page for a while and then play silly games on my PC and listen to Nick Cage or Tom Waits.

    However, I did go through a depressive phase for a few days recently, and I when I realized that my dialogue was coming out very flat and dreary, I decided to use it. My characters had just recovered a piece of Outsider technology that accumulates entropic potential, and I decided to put my feelings of weariness and despair deliberately into the section as a side effect of the machine.

    In that one instance, I think it worked.

    Like

    • It’s great when it works in your favor, right? I had a scene where I was frustrated and my character had a mental breakdown. Right in front of a demon, so the scene became more comedic. Though, it really worked out because after everything this character had gone through, it made sense that this new, demonic obstacle was the last straw.

      I should take your advice and play silly games.

      Like

  2. Bastet says:

    Reblogged this on Bastet and Sekhmet and commented:
    This is a post I found important for me…thanks Charles.

    Like

  3. Bastet says:

    When I’m in that state of mind, I find everything I write dull and lifeless…I try to keep on, but even f no one else notices, I know it and then I could use tha pint of ice cream…as they say, it is what it is…thanks for sharing.

    Like

  4. You are very right, our writing is completely changed by our moods and sometimes that is good and sometimes it is bad. This problem seems to be going around this week, I, including myself and having a hard time getting into any type of writing. Here’s hoping we all get readjusted! 🙂

    Like

  5. Saunved says:

    Hi Charles! You must be having a rough patch, I guess…! Hope you get the rhythm back and the letters flowing on paper! Have a good day ahead of you and I hope you write the next scenes beautifully. Thoughtful post though…yeah…there are some days…

    Like

  6. Love that pic…. I call my inner editor EEYORE because he brings me down and makes me all depressed about my writing (or lack thereof as the case may be)

    Like

  7. kingmidget says:

    You’ve just described why I’ve done so little work on my novels in progress for months and why I am now also struggling with blogging.

    Like

  8. I am right there with you Charles. I have been a tad dry as far as creativity goes recently. Everything that comes out of me is a bit terse, even cranky. As I write I find myself disagreeing with myself. It has taken me a while to unearth the conflict that was right in front of my face but at last I have it figured out (ex-wife stuff). I am hoping that now that I have put the “pink elephant on the table” I can start writing as me again.

    Like

  9. L. Marie says:

    I can understand this mood. Today is like that for me. And you’re right. We give everything to our craft and need to build up our emotional reserves. I hope someone builds you up today. You’ve created such a great world and have so much to offer people through your writing.

    Like

  10. prayingforoneday says:

    There is NOTHING you can’t do mate. I think (Knowing you as I do) if you put your mind to it you will meet your deadlines no problem. I believe in ya, you believe in you also.
    And I promise you, once I get this (REALLY SLOW TO DO) Radio show up and running, I will give you tons of exposure…

    Now get writing 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks. Though, I won’t be getting to my writing until tonight and I still have 6 sections to write before the weekend. Even at 2 sections a day, I’ll probably still need the weekend.

      Like

      • prayingforoneday says:

        You will get there in the end. I know deadlines (Different reasons and ways) I planned month to month, the odd month we made a mess of it, other months we did more…
        I take it you are similar? Good weeks bad weeks type?

        Like

      • Yeah. More good than bad. This one is abysmal.

        Like

      • prayingforoneday says:

        Next week will be better. I find with my life, pain or whatever is going on. I get shit weeks then AMAZING weeks..I am a firm believer in Karma..I believe it exists..Do good and good happens…But then I get all sore and think “Nah” 🙂 lol

        Like

      • Karma is a tough one to figure out. Bad things happen to good people and the opposite. Maybe it exists, but isn’t the sole factor.

        Like

      • prayingforoneday says:

        Not a sole factor no, But what I was meaning was slightly tongue in cheek, I am a better person these days and I suffer for it. When I was a bad boy I had no pain…
        Always seems nice people suffer, I see it in my family, friends and with many people on here…

        ….But I do agree, it isn’t the only factor in rubbish things happening

        Like

  11. Cheer up! Please don’t be gloomy! How about a little bit of honey? That’s what Pooh always ate. And he was a cheery little fellow.
    Maybe we should all have a little honey. My weeks been going about as good as yours. First, my cat is killed, then yesterday my editor forgot to put my column in the magazine so I’m out of a paycheck this month, and today I woke up to my mom telling me that the pet chipmunk, “Scrat”, my little brother rescued last weekend, mysteriously died in the night.
    What’s going on? The writer can’t write and the animal lover is losing her animals. It can only get better from here, right???

    Like

  12. To me a dry spell is an opportunity to do something different. Short story, poem or read. Amazing how it snaps back

    Like

  13. melissajanda says:

    Since you’re in an “Eeyore” type mood, I thought it would be appropriate to respond with a Pooh quote: “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” Please feel better soon Charles 🙂

    Like

  14. Our emotions and moods are crucial to our writing, but you’re right when you say that they don’t always align with what we’re working on at the moment. I’ve tried different approaches. There’s always just waiting, but that’s frustrating and not productive. Another is to switch to a different project until my mood changes. One approach that often works is to blast through the scene as quickly as possible so the ideas aren’t lost and then return later to add the correct emotions. Too, I’ve resorted to creating the needed mood, traveling to the dark place when the scene calls for it. That requires a little work and then the trick is getting back unless, of course, I was already in the dark place and needed to find the sunshine.

    Like

  15. And this is why I don’t drink when I write… bad things happen (for this book anyway. D’s final book is another thing altogether). I completely agree with you, and one of the ways I found to cope, although it scattered my brain a bit too much, was writing scenes that fit my mood. It makes editing a treat, and what came out wasn’t always appropriate when strung together, but I did feel like I was making progress. Here’s hoping your emotional reserves and will to go on improve! Hang in there!

    Like

  16. keladelaide says:

    This is a very insightful thought post if you ask me, which you didn’t-I know. I must remember this when writing and posting too. There’s been a bit of mood talk around the place today and it’s definitely got me thinking.

    Like

  17. cnmill says:

    I’m always thinking about how awesome it is to read about thought processes while writing (because while there may be similarities, no two people write the same way or use the same methods), but I honestly can’t say that I’ve read a single thing on here about writing through moods.

    Sometimes there really are THOSE days. Sometimes it helps it your writing, sometimes it doesn’t.
    But you’re totally right. We have to take the good with the bad, doing this. In my experience, sometimes the bad can make the good better than it ever could have been without it. Do you know what I mean?

    Sorry for all the ‘sometimes’. I tend to do that.

    Like

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