Recently, you may have realised that I have been going through some stuff. I can’t really discus what I’ve been going through, because it is very personal, but I would like to take a moment to examine the connection between a writer and their emotions. This goes for pretty much any form of writing and any form of art but I think it is particularly important for writers to realise. See writer’s tend to be quite introverted, we like to high away and write a bunch of stuff, then we put it up online or mail it to someone and trust that other people will read it. I’m quite an extroverted writer but even I would prefer to give a crowd a piece of my work instead of reading a speech out in front of them. This creates a barrier between and writer and their audience. But sometimes that distance means that writers can let their guard down.
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Some people argue that art is the process of eliciting an emotional reaction from an audience. If that is true then one of the greatest ways to elicit emotion is through sharing pain and there is no easier pain to share than your own. This is one of the reason that many writers have chosen to serve in various armed forces to work with the homeless, to gain a greater understanding of emotional trauma and pain. A lot of the time, however, a writer really doesn’t need to go to such extremes. In life we all go through emotional pain at one time or another, we all experience loss and rejection in one form or another. These forms of pain can be conveyed incredibly powerfully through writing and can lead to some pieces that are truly life changing for readers. However there is a danger at the same time.
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In the above paragraph I talked about emotional pain and the power it has in writing but I could have just as easily talked about positive emotions and their power in writing. I didn’t though because I am going from a time of emotional trauma so I made the unconscious decision to put that in my writing. This can be a really good thing at times, acting as a form of self-therapy, however if you’re trying to a graphic novel about the Avengers, and they’re all talking about how one of the Hulks family members just died, then it might put a downer on things and Marvel are unlikely to take it to print. The real problem with this is that it’s, for the most part, an unconscious process so it can be very hard to filler out of your writing if your attempting to write something that doesn’t fit the mood you’re currently in. The simple answer is; write something that fits your mood, but that’s not always practical (as I have found out recently.
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This is all a little woolly but a technique I like to use involves visualisation, I like to imagine my emotional states as different metallic ores, so happiness is gold and sadness is silver etc. When I feel those emotions I try to keep a track of everything I feel to ‘purify’ that ore. Then when I am writing I go through a short meditation process in which I visualise the ore being crafted into a mask, then when I wear the mask I attempt to take on that emotion. It doesn’t always work but when it does it allows me to summon the perfect mind-set for whatever piece I am attempting to write. The great thing about being a writer is that everyone is different but if you think this would help you improve your writing technique then please give it a try!
…That’s another classic Grr(aphic) Mondays! Check back on Wednesday from another BearSleuth Opinion Piece!