Friday, October 23, 2009

On Feeling Blue Writing the Sad Bits.

I'm not myself. I produced only a couple of thousand words this week, and then reached a point in the book where I needed to step back and forget about it for a while - at least, this is what I told myself. I'm about to enter a harrowing section, fraught with distress, sadness and an unhealthy chunk of depression - for the main character, that is, not for me, I thought. And guess what? I haven't stepped away from it at all. I've simply taken on her mood, and I'm now feeling quite down.

Once I face it, push through the difficult stuff, I'll be fine. This means I should just get on with it, doesn't it?  But I can't. Perhaps, like an actor preparing for a dark scene, I'm carrying the situation around with me, letting it bubble away, until I'm ready. But if I stay blue like this for too long, perhaps I won't want to go back to it. It's one thing to have a reason to be miserable, quite another to write yourself into it.

It's times like this I wish I was writing humor.  The next book, for sure.

Coincidental to my posting last week on feeling that our writing is underappreciated by most non-writers, I came across a perfect article on the subject by novelist, Emma Darwin. I've added the link to her blog, This Itch of Writing, because I think you'll enjoy it. I particularly love one of the comments left: Margaret Atwood is said to have been at a party once, and met a neurosurgeon. He said to her, 'When I retire, I'm going to write a novel,' to which she replied, 'When I retire, I'm going to become a brain surgeon.'

Of course, only Ms Atwood would have the aplomb to get away with that.
Well, that's it, guys. No point in going on. (With the post, I mean.)

I usually like to leave you, I hope, reasonably bright and cheerful in anticipation of the weekend.  It's a struggle today, but this image of the weird and whacky Edna is somewhat pertinent to how I'm feeling. My hair is particularly dry and unresponsive, which always affects my mood; my expression is a bit wild-eyed and desperate; and my nose is certainly out of joint. 

(This use of Edna is courtesy of artist Debra, from Monnie Bean Folk Art at Etsy.)

Dear Edna, you really do help. I think I'll bring you back here from time to time. I'm not always in a Boadicea mood. Wait a minute...sneezing, irritable and tired...perhaps I'm just getting a cold.
Have a good weekend. Stay warm and dry. Only a week to Halloween!


Belle said...

I've never had the blues while writing, but I've felt the tug of sadness. It sounds like you know your character deeply - that can only be a good thing, right? Loved that quote!

Melissa Marsh said...

Hope that you are not getting a cold. I just got over one and it was horrid.

Fran said...

Turns out it's just Life Blues, I think. No cold. Bought Scotch. Feel better.