Reader Friday: What’s Your Mood, Writer?

According to some studies, those who love to write may enjoy certain mental health benefits. One article states:

“No matter the quality of your prose, the act of writing itself leads to strong physical and mental health benefits, like long-term improvements in mood, stress levels and depressive symptoms. In a 2005 study on the emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing, researchers found that just 15 to 20 minutes of writing three to five times over the course of the four-month study was enough to make a difference.” 

So how do you generally feel when you’re writing? After you’ve written? 

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11 thoughts on “Reader Friday: What’s Your Mood, Writer?

  1. What does the study say about the effect of interminable rewriting on the psyche?
    But generally I’m a pretty positive, maybe even sappy guy. The fact that I can do my day’s work in my pajamas probably helps with that.

  2. I feel refreshed, like a breath of clean air. Creativity makes my spirit soar.

    And when I can’t find time to write I turn into a grumpy, depressed, irritable monster. It’s time to get ready for winter in the Midwest. I’m behind on my chores. We’re fixing up a house with plans to move in the spring. My day job is consuming way too much time. My wife, a true saint, is happy to see me walking out the door in the morning.

    When the firewood cutting is finished, it’s back to my reserved writing times. I can’t wait.

  3. I like the entire exercise of writing a and editing. I was a technical writer for over 25 years and enjoyed all of that. I liked organizing stuffor and making it presentable to a specific audience. Of course that hardly makes me any kind of genius when ithe comes to trying to write thrillers fantastical stories. At least I know how to sit in a chair for long periods and pay attention (although this last bit is currently in doubt).

    It feels really good going into the writing zone. It is certainly better than simply looking out the window all day long watching the deer eat my yard. I think the business end is pretty exciting, too. And that beats spinning a wheel in Vegas any day–not to mention being allowed to hang out with all of you fine people.

    Cheers!

  4. I never understood Truman Capote, either as a human being or as a writer. In his humanity, I found him whine-y and irritating–glad I never invited him over. Not that he would have come to my little adobe hut in Arizona.

    But in his persona as a writer, I never understood his jeremiads about how writing to him was hell. He underwent, he said, torture and agony when he wrote. Every time I read about him or watched a TV program about him, and he began his tales of woe, I always wanted to shout at him to, geez, get a job as a fry cook or a nuclear scientist or try going back to electronics school or something.

    True enough, I never walked a mile in his shoes. But neither did I ever understand his agony over writing. I love to write. It makes me happy. I write fiction thrillers. I am overjoyed to find some new point of research, then fit my story around it. Being an old man now, I don’t suppose I will ever chase down murderers and write something called a nonfiction novel. But my own writing brings joy and passion to me. True enough, I get frustrated as do all writers when I can’t get something right. But part of the joy of writing is fixing the world I am creating.

    There are those who found greatness in Mr. Capote. I give them their praise of his celebrity. They’re entitled. As for my own celebrity, I’ll not be famous. But neither will I be bogged down in something I don’t love. Iced tea and arrowroot cookies in my little hogan as I stroke my keyboard. It is joy and fulfillment.

  5. How do I feel?

    It’s like a breath of fresh air, the sun shining on my face. My hair flowing in a breeze, long and shimmery as I run through the green fields of the park in a short dress made of bright yellow chiffon, feeling the cool touch of fresh air on my thighs as I hike the skirt to bound over obstacles.

    By the time the police arrive I’ve escaped into the forest and changed back into my Carhartt jeans, flannel shirt, and logger boots.

    I stroll past the squad cars, “No officer, didn’t see him. Sounds like a nutjob though, good luck.”

    I get back home, sit in my comfy chair, and memory of that moment of freedom massages my mind to start again.

    Chapter 1

    There was an egg in the toaster that morning and it didn’t know how it got there.

    • Basil, please please please let me pre-order this project. I want to know why there was an egg in the toaster. Did the egg have one too many and think he was going home with a blender? Blenders really know how to have a good time. Or, or, or is the toaster actually a spacecraft from an alien race who kidnap eggs to find the answer to the question of “which came first?”

      Already planning the fan site. Don’t disappoint me.

  6. Writing leaves me with a high similar to that which I get from running. During? Sometimes calm, usually focused (if I turned off the internet), frequently emotional.

    Happy.

  7. I have only recently come out of hiding as a writer, so I don’t have much anecdotal evidence I can look back over, but I must say that in the last few weeks that I have committed myself to this endeavour I have become more focused in my daily activities.

    All household chores need to be done as quickly as possible so I have time to write. Meals must be planned and prepped in advance, so I can focus that much longer on my writing.

    My husband’s sock drawer hasn’t gotten empty. My daughter’s on top of her school projects. I think I might even have lost a pant size. And I am sleeping better and waking up more easily.

    I think the way it makes me feel is the way people hope drugs will make them feel. I guess that means I’ve been high for weeks.

    I fear there might be a crash in store when I hit a snag with a character or someone poo poos my work, but its gotta be worth it. I feel so awesome right now.

    • Keep going sister! The high is worth it, and after eight years in the game, this is the only drug I’ve never had withdrawals from.

      Uh…wait…don’t take that literally…

      while popular science had yet to understand how or why, my state of being is totally natural…

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