Saturday, April 27, 2013

A to Z Challenge: Xtreme Moods

Before I start today's post, I just want to ask that you please pray for Damyanti and her family. A few weeks ago, her sister-in-law passed away. But that's not all. A couple of days ago, her mother-in-law was bitten by a saw-scaled viper. This is a terribly venomous snake and she's in the hospital as we speak, fighting for her life. Allergic to the anti-venom, and systems starting to fail. D asked me to spread the word as far as I can, as her mother-in-law and the family as a whole need as many prayers as they can get. Please share this message with as many people as you can. And please pray. 



Today, I want to warn new writers about another thing no one ever tells you.

What you write can and does affect your mood. If your character is euphoric, you will be. If he's being crabby, you will be too. Murderous... yep. If you write a character's sex scene, you'll get turned on. A death scene and you'll cry your eyes out.

I can't really suggest something to combat this, because all of the above means that you're writing right. If you didn't feel any of how you wrote, how would you be able to get the emotion across to your readers?

But yeah. Be prepared. And remember that your family will think you're insane if you leave your writing space without winding down first.

Turn on some relaxing music, or do something that'll take you out of your writing world and put you in the real one. Possibly something repetitive and moderately mindless like knitting or mmm... sit-ups. Sit-ups are a good idea to combat all the sugar and caffeine you consume while writing. Jumping jacks too. Or just do a crazy dance while no one's looking.

Lock the door first, though, or you might be walked in on and be classed certifiably insane.

Veteran novelists: Do you unwind after a day's writing? How do you do it?

32 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We are definitely praying for Damy's family. Continue to keep the A to Z Team updated, Misha.
I work out several times a week to unwind from work, plus I practice my guitar for an hour every night. Fortunately, I'm pretty much even-keeled all the time anyway.

YVONNE LEWIS: said...

Prayers will certainly go to Damy's family in this time.

I unwind by playing either relaxation cds or listen to Daniel.

Yvonne.

Al Diaz said...

Joining the prayers.
I go out to Mother Dragon's garden after an hour of some kind of exercise.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Oh poor Damyanti! I will be praying for her family.

Scrabble unravels me.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Yes, prayers.

I've been editing for weeks now and slowly losing my sanity.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Sleep, send my prayers to them.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Prayers have been said for Damyanti and her family.


Exercise is the way to go for me. I make sure I do my powerwalk after writing for an extended period. If it's late I usually work out at the gym. If really late. I turn on the TV and chill before retiring for the evening.

And you are right. MY second novel effected me big time. I was a wreck for months because it is about an teen abused by his militant, alcoholic father. INTENSE...

Michael Offutt, "Johnny on the Spot" said...

I don't do a day's worth of writing. I just manage a couple of hours at most (maybe a little over 2000 words if it's a good day).

Susan Kane said...

Will be praying for Dyamanti sister, definitely.

Sharon Bradshaw said...

I'll think of Damyanti, her family, and pray for them. Your post definitely hit the nail on the head about writers. After I've been sitting at the laptop for a while, or writing the novel and living in the eighth century, I have to potter in the garden, go for a walk or at least have a cup of coffee to come back to reality.

Mark Means said...

I hadn't heard this, but will definitely be keeping them in my prayers.

M Pax said...

I'm sorry to hear of Damyanti's terrible news. Will definitely offer my positive thoughts for healing.

I usually work out after writing, so I guess that's how I wind down.

Crystal Collier said...

Prayers sent.

How do I unwind? I go hang out with my hubby who has the propensity to counteract any negative mood induced by writing. Yup. He's a miracle worker. =)

Jeff Hargett said...

Thoughts and prayers to Damy's family.

Julie Flanders said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Damyanti. Definitely thinking of her and hoping for the best for her family, how scary and also tragic. :(

Julia Hones said...

I will keep Damyanti in my thoughts...
I agree with you. We do "absorb" our characters' experiences and moods.

Carol Kilgore said...

Sending prayers for Damyanti and her family. I don't do one particular thing, but always do something to get myself back in the real world. Walk, read, different music from writing music, watch a movie, play with dogs, light exercise or stretching. Some combination of all that, depending on what I was writing and how knotted my muscles are.

Krista McLaughlin said...

Prayers for her family!

This is very true. If I write a very sad scene, it puts me in a very depressed mood until I get out of the funk. I probably shouldn't write murder scenes when angry. I don't wanna hurt anyone!

klahanie said...

Hi Misha,

I've tried to leave a comment on Damyanti's blog, but it wont allow me to comment. However, I have already shared her posting via Facebook and other networks. You might note it on my profile. I tried to tell her the blogging community will rally around with their thoughts and prayers for her mother-in-law.

Well said and I become my characters, no matter what they are. I believe feeling the emotions of your writing, is conducive to the writing ambience.

A peaceful Sunday to you.

Gary

Andrea said...

How terrible for her family...

Very interesting phenomenon you've let us in on!

Heather M. Gardner said...

My thoughts are with Damyanti and her family. So hard.

I write in the living room so everyone sees me. I don't get a lot of down time unless I'm alone. That happens sometimes.

Heather

Lynn(e) Schmidt said...

Wow, my thoughts and prayers are with Damyanti and her family!

I write wherever I can, and you're right, I do get emotional. Sometimes, I take a nap to unwind, or just go for a walk, look at something pretty. Remember to take YOU time. While you are not your character, your character is a part of you. It's important to be able to separate the two :)

VR Barkowski said...

My heart cracks wide for Damyanti and her loved ones. Sending healing energies her way.

I don't like to get too far my writing, I think it destroys the flow, but I will get up and walk, eat, or watch some TV as a distraction. The one thing I won't do while I'm writing is read someone else's work. I save reading for the end of my writing day. It's my treat before bed.

VR Barkowski

Patsy said...

I agree that what we write can affect our mood. So can the quality - if the writing of a sad scene was going well I'd probably feel a lot happier than if I was struggling with a happy one.

unikorna said...

I wanted to post a comment on your friend's blog, but they are restricted to blog members...I hope her mother in law will be ok.
I can write 1000 words a way, I could never write more unfortunately...I know writer who can produce over 5000 a day....it sounds surreal to me.

Nick Wilford said...

Sending thoughts and prayers to Damyanti and her family for the healing process.

Writing is definitely an emotional rollercoaster, if we didn't feel it intensely then something would be amiss. However I only ever write while my daughter is at nursery or early before the kids get up so I'm hanging out with the kids straight after. They definitely bring me back to reality!

Bish Denham said...

I am sending healing thoughts and prayers to Damyanti and her family.

Gee, I was crying just the other day at the end of a scene. When I laugh or cry out loud while writing, I usually feel good because it allows me to live under the allusion that I've done something right. :)

J.L. Campbell said...

So true Misha. Sometimes what I'm writing moves me to tears and joy and anger. Once I complete the scene, I'm okay again.

Cindy Dwyer said...

You have it absolutely right - if we don't feel the real emotions of the scene, our readers never will.

I'm sorry to hear Damyanti is having such sadness in her life.

Rachel Morgan said...

I can definitely agree with you on this one. I wrote a character's death last week and almost cried!
(And have prayed for Damyanti and have spread the word to ask for others' prayers too...)

Lynda R Young said...

Definitely praying for Damyanti and family.

Exercise shakes those moods off when writing is done.

S.P. Bowers said...

One more reason why it's important to have a specific writing place with a door.