Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Moody Writing - Use Your Mood
And as humans, we feel all kinds of different things on different days. We go through various moods. One day we're happy and full of energy, ready to take on the world. The next day we may be depressed or angry because of something that happened in our life.
I often hear this advice: "use your mood in your writing."
I guess it make sense to write a scene that has to evoke the feelings of sadness or loneliness when you feel like that in real life. Or a scene that is energetic and upbeat when you feel that way. But what happens if you're in a depressed or sad mood but need to keep writing scenes that do not necessarily fit that mood. Or vice versa. Do you skip and write the scenes that fit to use them later on? Or do you keep going with what needs to be written and ignore the mood you're in?
At a day job that is not creative, there are days when you want to bite everyone's heads off or to stare blankly at the screen and wait for the day to end. Most of the time, you can't allow yourself to do either, though. Because behavior like that has consequences - relationships with colleagues may sour, you may get fired, etc.. You have to get over your mood, in a way, and do your job.
It is much more difficult to do this in writing, or any other creative job for that matter. When you're in a bad mood, feeling angry or depressed, your brain just doesn't want to write light scenes, love scenes or much of anything, for that matter.
Here are some tips on how to keep writing even when the mood is not right:
1) Write something that fits the mood, even if you have to skip to the scenes that may fit it. At least you're still writing and the scenes that are written during that time may be the best scenes you could have written.
2) Try to write a fun, light scene or a love scene if you're the mood is not right. Just like smiling when you don't feel like smiling has been proven to make you happier, writing something light and happy may also lift your spirits. Why not give it a try?
3) Do some physical exercise, whether running to clear your head or punching and kicking a bag to take your aggression out. Exercise is a proven method of getting into a better mood and feeling more energy. It also takes your mind off of negative thoughts and provides a different focus. Write right after the physical exercise while still "high" on it.
4) Let yourself feel your mood through and don't feel guilty about skipping a day or two of writing if you just can't get into it. That only adds stress and negativity that you are trying to get away from to begin with.
How do you handle your moods when it comes to writing? Do you use your mood to write particular scenes? Do you walk away from writing altogether for awhile? What other tips do you have for writers about this topic?