Sunday, March 26, 2006

Moody Blues

I'm suffering from a severe case of moodiness this weekend. Now, my husband will tell you that I'm by no means even-tempered, but I haven't been this depressed in a long time.

There isn't really any cause for it. Probably hormonal, with some tiredness thrown in. But it's one of those really ugly moods that causes you to bristle when anyone so much as says "Hello." Yuckiness topped off by guilt over feeling so grouchy. I don't like it. I want it to go away. But it won't. Not until it is good and ready.

I just can't write when I'm like this. Total and complete solitude is what I crave, which means I can't even stand to be around my characters.

I've noticed that my moods tend to affect my writing in a variety of ways. It is easier to write when all is well in my world. I'm feeling slightly confident and happy with the way things are going. Slight irritation with things or people around me can actually push me to write, because it is an escape from daily reality. Tiredness will completely shut down my creativity. My brain simply refuses to function no matter how much I tell it to produce. Sadness is something I can eventually channel into my writing, if I work on the right scene. The most stifling of feelings for me are depression and guilt, probably because they are fed by swirling thoughts that leave no room for my characters to speak.

One of my RWA chapters, Southern Magic, has a blog where authors discussed how mood affected their ability to write love scenes. I found I'm not the only one who can't write sexy in the throes of PMS. :)

Some moods I can work my way through. I often force myself to write, even if what goes onto the page is worthless, because a low mood will lift just from the act of writing. In a way, writing can be therapy for me. But I have to force myself to do it.

Hopefully, this week will be better and I'll get back on the creative track. Until then, I'll do other creative things and get a lot of projects out of the way, so I can focus on my writing when I'm back in the "mood."

How do moods affect your writing life? Do you work through them or just wait them out?



Kathy said...

Somtimes I find that if I'm in a bad mood, I work through it by getting my mind onto other things, housework, yardwork, reading, knitting, whatever that may be. I've also found that doing something for others usually makes me feel better.

The same process can be used for writing. I write even when I don't feel like it. The end result often turns out to be worthless dribble but other times I'll find my mood changing, the words I write, thought provoking. I'll find myself stepping outside the box that imprisons my emotions and I'll escape to a place where my problems don't seem so real or close to my heart.

I hope you feel better soon, Angel.


Playground Monitor said...

I usually can't write though a bad mood because I just freeze up and can't even get worthless junk on the paper. Instead, I read. I'll lose myself in someone else's words and characters and plot until the bad mood leaves.

OR I'll clean out a closet or dresser. A bad mood will make me throw away junk that I've been hanging onto for too long -- you know, like that pair of pants that's 2 sizes too small or the knickknack that doesn't go anywhere in my house but came from great-aunt MinnieBelle.

I just checked your horoscope and it said this: The March 29 new moon solar eclipse in Aries should bring a happy ending to the month. Hang in there! That's just around the bend.

Rhonda said...

Sorry to hear that you're feeling a little down, Angel. (And you are so not alone!)

I'm like you, though. When I reach a full-throttle funk there's nothing I can do to make it go away until it passes. I've learned to ride it out, but have yet to learn how to write through it.


Problem Child said...

Frustration affects me more than anything. Those of us who are cursed with the perpetually perky gene don't get really down very often--we get blue, but it's a light blue. Even then, I'm more likely to snap at people than wallow in the funk.

Of course, I'm told perky people can't write good books becuase we can't handle angst. I guess I'll never be a true artist.

But we perky people (and trust me, I hate to be called perky) get frustrated very easily. And I can't write when I'm frustrated.


Linda Winstead Jones said...

I usually escape my bad mood with writing, so I guess that makes me the odd man out. I'm definitely into escapism. Of course, if I was in a really down mood, love scenes probably wouldn't work well, but maybe I could kill off a character I didn't like. :-)

One trick I heard for changing your mood that seems to work is this: First play some music that matches your mood -- depressing, angry, sad. Get into the music. Wallow in it. Then put on something upbeat and happy. Something that makes you dance. It won't take away the problems that make you unhappy, but if you're just in a funk it can't hurt.