The best of writers, can they separate their writing — their art — from a particular mood or emotion that grips them?
Further, if they attempt to express another emotion in writing, does the product they produce suffer from their untruth?
In other words, do writers who defy an emotion that affects them at the time of their writing do their work a disservice?
As I fought with within myself and within my abilities, I questioned whether other writers ever encounter a similar issue. Is this what we writers call “writer’s block”? Furthermore, I questioned whether writers who manage to defy the issue that was hampering me would find that the quality of their work would decline, whether it was realized by the writer or not.
These thoughts were epitomized in a Tweet through my Twitter account:
Can writers truly, honestly and at their best, convey some emotion if they are unable at that moment to feel it?
These thoughts leaped forth to me that evening. I was reviewing a piece I was working on, a short series of fictitious stories central to a variety of premises and themes. What I was rather disturbed to notice is that the mood of the protagonist in each piece within the series was similarly wrought with insecurity, sadness, or a general darkness. I realized that each piece was reflecting my state of mind over the two or so days I had been writing. I truly struggled to find my usual and preferred optimistic writing grove.
Do those particular emotions reflect on the limitations of my writing abilities? Or, as a writer, is my best work that which most honestly reflects my moods and state of mind at those moments when I put ink to paper?
(What do you think? Please leave me a comment at the bottom of this post. Registration is NOT required.)
I must now admit, I pose these questions with little intent of my answering them! But I believe they are an interesting subject and one worth pondering. For the sake of discussion, let us try to give some form of answer.
It would seem apparent to me that whatever emotion the writer truly is feeling would be best articulated through their pen at the time that the emotion is present — when the feeling is fresh, honest and forthright.
And so I first must conclude that what one writes reflects most purely their inner state. Second, for a writer to portray some emotions which, for whatever reason, they struggle to honestly feel at the time of their writing, their work must suffer in some regard. Third, the best work put forth by a writer is that which most honestly reflects their inner state, their mood, and the emotions they feel at the time they are writing. To attempt anything different is a disservice to one’s natural abilities, and to the level of quality that they hope to achieve.