Reader Friday: Moody Writers

Jack Dann

Writing is about putting words on paper, especially during those times when you’re not in the mood. — Jack Dann

What are our writing moods like? Are they variable? Predictable? How do they affect those around you? Can you write when you’re moody, or do you have to wait for the right feeling?

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14 thoughts on “Reader Friday: Moody Writers

  1. Escaping into my fictional world is the cure for a bad mood. More characters may die that day, though. 😉 With the exception of family time, the only thing that prevents me from writing is when I’m forced away from my desk for book signings, conferences, or book events. But it’s important to get out there and mingle with readers and fellow writers.

  2. About the only time I don’t write is when large life-things intervene. Otherwise I’m racing through the trenches of my stories with my characters, just trying to keep up.

  3. If I’m not in the mood, writing gets me there. I was finishing a novella, getting it cleaned up for my editor. I didn’t know what I wanted to write next, since I have 4 series. A major conference was going to pull me away for a week. While there, my brain was in overload, and coming up with the story for another book wasn’t happening. “This time, I’ll plot,” I said, spending those 2 weeks trying to gather ideas. Pfffft. It wasn’t until yesterday, when I simply sat down and typed an opening sentence. Then another. Then a few more, that I was “in the mood.” I only wrote 1 page, but my grumpy frustration left. Whether any of those first 336 words stick around remains to be seen, but I have a page to fix. And the tension has left my gut.

  4. Another writer website recommended a mechanical keyboard and since I was suffering from word production slowness, I decided to give it a try. I’m not a gamer, so I’d never heard of a mechanical keyboard, but if gamers and coders found them useful, then maybe I would. It really made a difference and now I hear the music of writing – I just needed a loud keyboard to make the sound! I think the positive reinforcement of fast typing speed has urged me on to more word creation. Weird. Do whatever works!

  5. My father died about two weeks ago, and my mother asked me to give the eulogy at his memorial service. Daddy was a good man, so beloved by the community that they named a high school stadium after him (The Albert D. Miller stadium at Perry Hall High School) while he was still living. After Daddy died, I wanted to curl up in a ball and wallow; however, I knew that my father deserved a proper farewell. Certain that nothing I could write would do him justice, I worked into the wee hours of the night every night until the day of the service (the old butt-in-chair approach). On the day of the service, I cried as I read the entire first paragraph, but after that, I managed to pull myself together for the next fifteen minutes to deliver a message (with a theme and props). The hundreds of people at the service already knew what my father was like as a teacher and coach, but I let them know what it was like to be his daughter. Of course, writing is always easiest when it comes from the heart. RIP, Daddy.

  6. One of the things I decided a couple of decades ago was that I was not going to be a grumpy old man. My observations were, through my life, that grumpy old people were that way because they wanted to be. They were perhaps that way in their earlier lives, and that’s where they stayed. I have always thought it tragic that they saw life that way.

    I decided I was not going to put my wife through that.

    This week, one of very best friends is gone. My heart is broken. We never had the chance to have that last breakfast or lunch together out at the casino restaurants. A prime rib dinner would have been good. We were both at the age that we couldn’t make it up the stadium or ball park steps anymore. The recreation things, and the discussions, and funny stories are stopped. So, in my grief, I am turning to a couple of things, and one of them is writing.

    I find that it is helpful. Yesterday, my wife and I attended a little get-together with friends. That was helpful. Reading is helpful. In short, all the things I have ever done in my life are helpful at this point in my life.

    It’s a comfort that I don’t have to change my life to get through my life. I still have big plans for writing. One of them is that, fictionally, I’m going to kill off the antichrist. Except, according to the Book of Revelation, I can’t shoot him in the head because, depending on which theologian you read, he could come back. (Again, it’s a matter of interpretation.)

    So, how to do that . . . how to do that?

    With a cup of hot chocolate or Pepsi, a loaf of bread, and the company of my wife and friends. That’s how I’ll figure it out.

    • Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. Books are definitely a comfort in times like these. Good luck with the writing — your book should be an interesting read. A cup of hot chocolate sounds good right about now.

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