Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I've found that some of my best writing is done when I'm in the midst of turbulent emotion.  Like my very first novel, which was completed within a few months not too long before I separated from my ex-husband.  Funny how getting up at 5:00am each day, and writing for two uninterrupted hours, was cathartic.  Not that I wrote about  my marital situation or personal feelings, but I was able to tap into some serious emotion when writing that first romantic suspense novel.

I've found myself in the same situation several times in the ensuing 20-odd years.  I'm in one of them right now, for a very sad reason.  The son of a friend passed away unexpectedly late last week, and my mind has been distracted with a variety of thoughts, remembrances, and odd insights.  All of which are proving to be fodder for the book I'm currently plotting--and emotion for the book I'm writing.

I used to feel goulish when sad, tragic events spurred me to write.  But I've come to understand that the human condition forms the underpinnings of my work.  Each experience, and each emotion, helps form the layers of my thought process and the actual writing.  I suspect that the writers who most inspire us and whose work most appeal to us are those who are the most accomplished at tapping into our emotions.

Some writers freeze in the face of strong, turbulent emotions.  And others, like me, seem to get diarrhea of the keyboard.  I guess it takes all kinds...

What kind are you?

(RIP, Justin)

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