Writing from Emotion

emotionsEven though I haven’t been at Cara’s session at Eroticon, I wanted to join in with her draft folder challenge, as I have several drafts that have been in the folder for months, some even years, and the time is just never right to write those posts. I actually had two drafts folders, one in my WordPress dashboard and the other in Scrivener. Just before Eroticon, I totally cleared the WordPress one, but I have now filled it with the draft posts I had in Scrivener.

One of those posts was this one…

For the 300th prompt of Wicked Wednesday, M of Cammies wrote a post about writing from emotion. Since M has passed, and I knew that at one stage her blog would disappear from the Internet (which it did), I copied some of her to make some sense to my own post.

I was talking to my sister the other day when she said “Sometimes I wish I had a problem with anxiety, I would probably write a lot better”. She of course, was referring to me and my writing. During the conversation I didn’t give her remark much thought, but once we got off the phone I began to examine what she had said.

After pondering this question in my mind for a couple days I decided to review some of the things I had written; to see if there was any validity to her statement. I became so consumed on my quest of discovery that I ended up reviewing every word I had ever written (term papers aside), and trying to recall exactly when I had written them. Hour after hour I poured over this material. I would not give up my search for logic and reasoning.

Every single brilliant thing that I had every written was during a time of heightened emotion. Be it depression, anger, confusion, or love; every piece was steeped in turbulent thoughts and emotions. It was at this time that I began to worry. A lot. There were quite a few things that I had begun to write, but had stopped because they simply weren’t good enough. These things were started when I was just trying to write, unlike the great pieces where I had to write.

I wondered: what if one day I wake up, completely content with life and everything in it and can’t write anymore? I mean, this is my passion. Will I forever have to be a misery junky just to be able to write good? What price was I willing to pay for my life force? These questions were viciously swirling in my mind, over and over again. I almost wished at this point that when my sister had made that comment that my response had been “That’s great food for thought, but I’m on a diet. If you’ll excuse me now, I have some talk shows to watch”.

The great thing about hindsight and hypothetical questions is that you never know. People everyday will waste hundreds of brain cells contemplating these things; but they can never come up with answers because you will truly never know them. Beating yourself up with questions isn’t going to bring resolution to the problem. I finally was forced to take a step back and say “The world will never be perfect. I am an irrational adult, and men still exist. Therefore, I will forever be able to write good.” This greatly relieved my mind. Unfortunately, it also relieved me of my ability to write for awhile. So after breathing a great sigh of relief and being completely unburdened for a moment I did what any relieved writer would do. I promptly called my mother. So we could get in a fight.

When I read this the first time, the only thing I could think about was writing after mom had passed, and how people commented on some of those posts that it was the best writing I ever did. I loved the comments, but hated that it took my mom to die for my writing to be acknowledged like that. The comments made me proud and sad at the same time.

Of course I know that even if my mom was still with us, I might also have reached the same level of writing, since my life is definitely not easy at this moment, and by the time my mom got ill, Master T already had problems with his leg; problems that only got worse.

Why is it that our writing turns into something raw and poignant the moment we are suffering from some kind of distress? Is it because we let down some kind of guard, which makes us write from the heart? Is it because we hurt so much that we have no bandwidth at all to consider the feelings of others? Is it because we have to let the hurt out, and as writers words are the best way to do it?

M made me think about this. For months. And, I still don’t have the answer. I don’t know why writing seems to improve when we are anxious or sad or in any kind of distress. It just does. Where in the past I thought being in a bad place mentally and emotionally would make me write less, I now know it’s quite the opposite. It was like writing became my lifeline to the outside world; like without my writing I would drown. I needed my writing to keep some kind of normalcy and sanity.

I have no idea which is the right answer to this, but to be honest I don’t care. I enjoy the high productivity I currently have, whether writing under distress or not.

Writing is my way of relaxing and apparently there’s nothing that will stop me from doing this.

I hope.

© Rebel’s Notes

6 thoughts on “Writing from Emotion

  1. I’m not so sure that it’s that our writing improves so much as we are writing about raw emotions WITH raw emotion…and people react to those posts sometimes more than they react to other kinds of writing.

  2. The quote you copied is beautifully written, I’m glad I got to read it. Thank you for this whole post – it provides some interesting food for thought.

  3. I’ve wondered this myself! I do seem to write better when I’m anxious. Or want to write more at least. It strange how it works that way.

  4. This post definitely got me thinking as well, something to pay attention to in the future to see if there’s any correlation. Also, how might the writing improve (or not) during times of extreme joy?

    I’ve most certainly cried while writing, gotten turned on. It is nice to work out your feelings on paper.

    This is a fantastic post!

  5. I think these are really interesting questions you pose and ones I’ve thought about myself. I can only think of it from my own experience and I know that when I’ve written about particularly emotive topics it feels like a whole body experience – so I’m in touch with my brain, my heart, my emotions and my body reactions as I write. There are times I’ve trembled and teared up as I’ve written things like it needed to come out through my pores.

    I think the depth of vulnerability is also a factor, and that is something that screams out in such posts, as you say, raw and poignant and I know I can’t fail to be moved by writings like that.
    I can also relate to writing being calming and cathartic, a sorting out of thoughts and feelings. Thank you for sharing xx

  6. I believe that when we are fueled by our emotions, even when we can only name them chaos and turmoil, we let go of our self-censors and let ourselves release the insights gestating and become birthed into our more conscious awake aware self.

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