Song Sung Blue
Why is it I am only inspired to write under certain circumstances? (Don’t get me wrong, I write rather or not I am inspired!) Generally those circumstances are under intense emotion such as sadness. I have the urge to write when I’ve had coffee or with a glass of whiskey, particularly a good scotch.
I have a difficult time expounding on the background of my novel. Who cares what color the tablecloth was? Why do they care how the house looked or where the furniture is arranged? I have difficulty putting emotion into my writing unless I am feeling what the character would be feeling at the time. Many times my writing inspires that emotion in me if I really let myself go.
Personally, I have trouble letting myself go because the emotions of my writing, when I really let myself feel it to write, bleed out into my everyday life. If my character is stressed and overwhelmed and angry, that carries through. In a job where we provide peace and tranquility and work to actively de-stress people, it seems like a contraindication.
Drinking lowers inhibitions and gives false courage. When the whiskey dries up in the morning, the emotions dry up with it. We can go on about our day to day lives and live.
Or can we? Does anyone else experience the three day crash after drinking? We drink. We have a good time. We talk to people we otherwise wouldn’t and do things we normally wouldn’t like dance instead of standing at the sidelines or make silly jokes because we no longer fear the social repercussions. We go home that night and sleep like a baby. Work the next day is great. We had fun and we’re refreshed!
Then the crash hits. If my character is intensely sad, I become intensely sad. I start to doubt myself and all the aspects of my life. The world is terrible and everyone hates me! I’m a talentless hack. I can’t write. My day job sucks because people are always whining at me. I’m hyper sensitive to everything. And in the pit of this sensitivity, we look back at our writing.
My MC (main character) loses her best friend into a potential pit to hell. At first she is angry. Then she moves into the fiercely determined phase. And then she devolves into frustration and, finally, hopelessness.
The fiercely determined phase isn’t so bad, but the other two leave me with coworkers scratching their heads and clients sometimes picking up on the energy. But is there a way to write emotionally intense scenes without letting it carry over? Or do we need to let it flow through our pores and let the raw emotional nature pour into the page?
And won’t we just take it out in editing anyway?
Do you write drunk? Or do you have some insight to writing emotion without letting it creep into your life? I’d love to hear it.
A few articles I found poignant while searching for actual medical science to back up my crazy idea:
- Why do we love drunk writers also entitled Shut up and pour the bourbon already
- 7 Mistakes to Avoid as a Beginning Writer
- Writers who Drink or Drinkers who Write