Fifth in the 1K a Day Motivational Series, in which I talk about something that happened in the previous week that could have or did prevent me from writing a minimum of 1,000 words on a given day, or possibly talk about something that provided support to get me through the day.
This one’s gonna get angry. Strap in.
Some days are more draining than others. Some sap you mentally, or physically. You’re too tired or brain is too fried. Happens all the time, to everyone. Too mentally tired happens to me multiple times a week. But I’ve already talked about being too tired.
Other days are not draining so much as they are emotionally charged. Maybe you had a death in the family, or you made a mistake at work that cost thousands of dollars to rectify, or you broke up with your significant other.
Maybe you just fell in love. Possibly you had such a good day that to taint it with trying to write would be anathema to the day.
Point is, emotions can take over. For me, I spent several days mad as hell at Fed Ex this past weekend when they seemingly lost my brand new phone in the mail when they “left it at the front door”. This practice simply does not happen in my apartment complex, as we have an office where packages can be dropped off when no one’s home to get them. I have packages delivered all the time this way, from Fed Ex, from UPS, from USPS. They all know the drill.
But not this time. This time the package mysteriously vanished for four days until it turned up this morning, which is great, awesome. In the meantime, I spent a lot of time on the phone arguing with Fed Ex, going round and round with my apartment’s managerial staff about whether anyone accepted the package but didn’t leave it in the office, and just getting mad as hell and not wanting to take this anymore.
But I got my writing done every one of those days. One of those days I channeled the anger into the writing. I had an argument that was scheduled for a couple scenes down the line and it may have gotten bumped up as a result. Other days I sat down to write after being on the phone with Fed Ex and getting nowhere and I’d turn away in disgust.
So the question is: How do you write when you’re so emotional?
I have two answers:
1. Channel that shit into your writing. As above, taking those emotions that are clouding your ability to be rational and calm, and diverting them into whatever you’re working on (or something brand new) is a great way to blow off that steam, or process that grief, or understand the happiness and solidify it in your memory forever. If you can, just write it out.
2. Some kind of meditation. Get yourself out of the anger, or fear, or sadness, or triumph. Does it take video games for a little while? Shoot some aliens or zombies or solve some puzzles or play the foosball. Does it take listening to your favorite song on repeat for an hour? Trance it up. Does it require you to watch something so saccharine sweet and happy that it doesn’t matter what you felt before because it’ll bring you out of it? Then watch The Princes Bride.
If you’ve got the time, go run it out, sweat it out, play it out, fuck it out. Whatever you’ve got to do, go get it out of your system, or process the emotions, and then get on with your day.
Now saying all that’s fine and good, but some things are easier than others. A loved one dying, for instance, is reason enough for anyone, I’d argue, to step away from writing or working or anything else for a bit. Some things have to be processed over time. If, God forbid, someone I cherish passes away during this year of writing, I’m pretty sure I’m not going to write anything. And I won’t feel bad about it or even apologize because fuck you if my grief is less important than my words.
Process your emotion. Write to the pain. Step away when you have to. But write the hell on, writers.