Writing and Emotions
by MW Cook
Here’s how a night of writing typically goes:
- 1:00-1:10 – I sit down with computer, notebook, tea and water. I turn on some ambient Zen music. High expectations and energy. I’m going to rock my own face off tonight!
- 1:10-1:40 – I get distracted by Facebook, Twitter and blogging. If I’m lucky this produces a new blog post, a couple Tweets and a Facebook share. If I’m less lucky this produces nothing.
- 1:40-3:00 – I turn off all my distractions and look at what needs doing. Generally this produces a sickening angst. I see some plot holes and character inconsistencies. I realize that I have made a horrible mistake and I never should have started writing in the first place. I should have been an actor. Or an accountant. Or anything at all because I suck at this and it’s going nowhere and I’m wasting my time and it’s all pointless and I’m an idiot and OH GOD NOOOO!
- 3:00-3:30 – Play Doom II
- 3:30 – Guilt forces back to the stupid book.
- 3:31-6:00 – I work. It’s hard. It’s frustrating. But, as I work, the story takes hold of itself. I write. Tap, tap, tap go my fingers. My characters breathe and live and act. I’ve forgotten that I’m writing. I am simply being. I am doing what I do. And, suddenly, I notice that it’s nearly 6am. I look at my wordcount and I gasp. I read it over and I gasp again. I did well. Not perfect. Needs work. But the scenes are true. The characters are real. Dear God, I’m a writer.
- 6:01 – Happy dance.
Okay, maybe that’s not a typical day of writing. I don’t really have typical days. But the wild roller coaster of feelings is real. In one night I’ll both despise and adore my work. I’ll both despise and adore myself. But most nights end on a higher note than they began. Which leads me to believe the higher emotions are the more authentic. Which, further, leads me to believe I’m on the right track.
How about you? What strange things does your creative outlet do to your heart?
Strangely, I get all moody and depressive when I’m right in the middle of a good writing session. .Mel gets the same way crafting. .so we just kind of keep out of each others way when the muse comes a knocking.
I think I know what you mean though. Words tend to become useless when they aren’t charged with authenticity. Keep fighting the good fight.
Lately I’ve been approaching the creative process as a phenomenological experience, and becoming more aware that all that stuff that is procrastination is also a ritual. It’s evidence of the relationship of self-to-self, occurring in real time. The internal “other” is totally intrinsic to the creative process, and I’m becoming really interested in the possibility of meeting the other in a way that is respectful and intimate rather than dominant and hierarchal. Since I’ve started working this way my neurotic freak out pattern hasn’t really changed (maybe less writhing around on the floor or sitting in the closet), but it’s become way way more enjoyable. I’m not talking about self love or acceptance because I find those highly subjective and problematic concepts with their own agendas, but I guess I am talking about just more relaxing and enjoying the ride, self- and art- love and loathing both.