Emotional Writing


What drives an individual to write? Apart from the obvious reasons (you like to write; you want to write; you need to write; you are a writer) is there an emotional element that pushes us to our laptops/pens/notebooks? Some people eat when they are emotional. So is there such a thing as emotional writing?

And when I say emotional I mean when things are going tough in our lives (though lets not confuse it with keeping a journal). I’m not talking mid-life angst. My question to you is, do you place your troubles inside your characters and utilise the pain you are experiencing? Do you take the opportunity to vent through these fictitious people? Vicarious therapy, if you will.

Of course, the characters we write are an extreme bastardisation of ourselves. We take an empty canvas – put a name to it. Colour their eyes, shape their nose. Where does the personality come from? We may take one major trait that lives within us and place it on this canvas – tweak it a bit – then continue to create a whole new person that will live in our minds for however long it will take us to finish a book.

So with the characters being our puppets, this of course makes us the master. Master does need a muse after all. To me, it makes perfect sense to pour my heart out through my character. Whether that be grief, stress – what I go through in my life comes out in my writing. I write better when I am stressed. Don’t most writers? Do you?


About Virginia

Writer, reader, crossword puzzler and conspiracy theorist.

9 Responses to “Emotional Writing”

  1. I honestly think I write more and or better when I am less stressed. When stressed, I focus on the stressor and rather than channel energy into writing, I worry at the problem. Writing for me has been an artistic pursuit. Though at one ridiculous point in my ‘angst’ filled late teen/early twenties it was my ‘medium’ to poor out all of the melancoly of my existence. Guh, I was such a tool back then. Anyway, things that stress me get dealt with as they occur. And honestly, there is not much that worries me. Family health and finance, those are the biggest. As long as I have food on the table and happy, healthy wife and son, everything else matters very little.


  2. I write to relieve my stress. πŸ™‚ For me, not writing is like holding my breath – I do okay for a little bit, but then the need becomes too great and I have to give in and breathe. If I put off writing for too long, I feel stagnant and depressed.

    The best part about characters is that we can show the readers a tiny piece of our soul without them ever realizing that’s what we’re doing. All those things inside that we might keep repressed – our dark side, our adventurous side, our sultry side – we can experience them through our characters in any way that we wish without real life repercussions. No boundaries! =D


  3. I’m not sure I write better when I’m stressed *thinks* no, actually I think I write better when I’m relaxed lol.

    Ahhhhhh, perhaps I need ANOTHER holiday lol πŸ™‚



    • Another holiday? Sure, why not! I’ll join you – somewhere hot and sunny please, I’m over the FREEZING temps over here in Australia. Yes, you heard right. It is freezing in Oz. It does happen sometimes πŸ™‚ x


  4. My wife calls me a robot. Not that I’m metallic and soulless, but I have a strange ability to write regardless of my mental state. I think I write better when not stressed. In fact I know that. I think Ben Okri said that all good writers must have experienced some pain. Not sure if I’d necessarily agree, but I do believe that all good writers must have a deep pool of life experience.


    • Some of my best writing comes from sorrow or pain – I guess thats just how it comes out. But I don’t necessarily write about painful things. I could be sad yet write a happy piece. I do agree with you in that to write well, you must have had a fair amount of life experience. πŸ™‚


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