March 3, 2011

when mood affects writing

It's amazing how a single event can make or break your mood for the day (in my case, two events, neither of which I wish to disclose). The fact of the matter is, lately, I've let the ups and downs of life affect my writing. It seems that any time something unpleasant happens to me, I'm put off from writing. Going to bed one night, I could be gung-ho about the next chapter in my novel, and then upon waking the next morning, a tweet, a bad bit of news, poor sleep, or disappointment could completely nullify any excitement I might have had.

That's how I feel this morning. Today is not ideal, and there is nothing in the world that I could have done to make it any better. The disappointments for the day are completely out of my control. It's been this way for a few months now. I've dreaded working on my manuscript. Just opening the document feels like a chore, and it's all rather depressing

I'm an overly optimistic person. I believe that Chance smiles down on me and wants to give me everything I want. So when things don't go my way, I'm disappointed. I'm disappointed because some near impossible dream didn't happen. I shouldn't be this way. I should be practical, grounded, and cynical. Then I won't be disappointed. I'll have expected the negative outcomes. But I don't want to be that person. I don't want to be the person who doesn't believe in their goals, who doesn't believe in their own ability, the person who believes the world is out to get them. I don't want to be that person.

I want to be the one who is blissfully naive, who believes good things happen to people who put their hearts into their work, that effort equals reward. Because if I don't believe in the chance that my dreams will one day come true, no one else will do it for me. If I give up, I'll never reach my goal.

So when I sit down at my desk each morning, I want to write. I want to finish my manuscript. I want to work to become a bestselling author. But at the same time, I'm afraid. I'm afraid of rejection. I'm afraid of wasting time with writing when I could be doing something more productive. I'm afraid I'm no good at it. I'm afraid it's an impossible dream. I want to write, but I'm afraid.

I think every writer encounters that fear at some point. The key is overcoming that fear, and I know of only one way to do it: keep on writing. I may want to cower in the corner of my bedroom every day and snuggle with my dog, but I don't. I sit at my desk and I write, regardless of how I feel, regardless of how crappy life happens to be at the moment, regardless of all my fear. I sit down and write.

Because when I do write, I feel like it's what I was born to do. It fills me with the sort of satisfaction you only get from doing something you love. When I'm writing, I'm blissfully unaware of the troubles outside of my office.

For a brief moment, I'm elsewhere, fighting demons, meeting wizards, and saving the world.


  1. Slay the dragon, Brooke. In whatever form it takes. Be the Hero, my friend.

  2. I know exactly how you feel. Emotions can bring you high and bring you low in one stroke. But just like Darby said, slay the dragon. I know you can do it.