Reader Friday: When Life Gives You Lemons…

Lately it feels as if the news has been all bad, all the time. (Isis! Ebola! Market roller coaster!)

Please answer the following question: 

When the 24-hour news cycle delivers nothing but lemons, how are you affected as a writer?

A. Full Stop. I make a stiff lemon-tini, and then I spend the rest of the day watching CNN Breaking News, and reading #ebola updates on Twitter.

B. I write faster! Like a depressed person who feels happier when it rains, I actually get energized by grim news. 

C. Meh, the daily headlines don’t affect my writing. I just tune it out. 

D. Other. (Explain.)


22 thoughts on “Reader Friday: When Life Gives You Lemons…

  1. Oh, I love lemons!
    Yeah, it’s D.: Headlines are great inspiration. Also, has there ever been a time when headlines were not giving the impression that the world is ending about tomorrow?

  2. I ask if I can trade the lemonsn for a lime and some salt, sit back with the cold one, and see what I can do WITH the news, ‘ cause it sure seems like we can’t do a lot ABOUT the news… Gotta look for inspiration wherever you can find it~ where do you think sad country songs and edge-of-the-seat plot twists come from?

  3. D. What Thomas Diehl said. What’s not to love? Plenty of inspiration there. Actually, somebody’s world ends every single day. The bells are tolling, the monk is yelling “bring out your dead.” It’s tragedy, true, and ultimately depressing, but it’s also the catalyst for stories.

  4. I’ve worked in the news business all my adult life, so “bad news” just means I have work to do. Not on my WIP, but for the job that pays the rent. It’s awfully cynical, but like the saying foes, “it’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow *someone* some good.”

  5. D. I agree with Joe and Thomas. The news is always full of bad news. They never report the good news. That would be boring. Like writing, our stories are filled with conflict. If everyone got along with everyone else, there would be no tension, no story.

    So I look at the news and see fodder for plots and conflict. That doesn’t mean I don’t yell and rant while I’m watching it, wondering why everyone else can’t see the hypocrisy and stupidity of what we’re being fed. But I digress.

    So thanks for getting my blood boiling a bit. Now it’s time to use some of that energy to write the next chapter.

  6. For me it is mostly C- I tend to focus out the news good or bad while I’m writing.Most of my inspiration comes from my daily interactions, not news media. 🙂

  7. I take the lemons and work them into a story, duh. Like where I used to live they have been finding sewing needles in potatoes. Imagine the mystery. No wait, don’t do that. It’s my story.

  8. I agree with Steve. The news media are outrageous and irresponsible in the way they report any health scare or conflict. It’s not surprising that many Americans feel the danger is next door. There has always been something since time began. The majority are not affected by these events and will continue to live their up and down seemingly normal lives. I am concerned, but over-reaction doesn’t help. That’s why I start my morning with the Daily Show, or Colbert, keeping the news in perspective. Plus having a laugh to go along with it.

  9. When I get a hold of lemons I like to turn them into orange juice, just to see the expression on people’s faces when they go, “What the..?”

  10. A.
    I’m very sensitive and passionate about life. Bad new, like Ebola and ISIS, is affecting me greatly. I get distraught, depressed, I worry and pray hard. Even the way how people are desensitizing the situations (like creating Ebola Halloween costumes) is a bit unsettling for me. I’ll never understand the frivolous way how people hand serious matters. Life & death matters. I guess you never know until it hits you.

    However, at some point I have to tune it all out and tune in my characters. But mostly, I listen to audiobooks to get my mind off the bad stuff.

  11. I find more inspiration with the newspaper than with the newscasts. I’ve read somewhere that watching the news can actually be bad for the health because it can cause spikes in blood pressure, while reading is more controlled. I cut out articles and bits that interest me, or I think could make a good story someday.

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