Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Effect of Writing

Back in January, when my first book was released, I was asked how writing has affected my life, and how my life has affected my writing. In a nut shell…writing has affected everything about my life and my life has affected everything about my writing :)

Like any writer, my experiences, my personality, my relationships, my emotions on any given day…all of these affect my writing. But these things affect non-fiction and fiction differently. Fiction is very much an emotional sport. I sort of have to be in the right mood to write fiction. Because I take all my emotions and past experiences and make them a part of what I am actually writing, all the aspects of my real life that affect me tend to affect my work as well.

But non-fiction is very non-emotional (unless you are talking about creative/narrative non-fiction like a memoir or narrative personal essay). Actually, in my book, Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers, I’m trying to calm emotions down. I want to remove the stress and anxiety my readers feel about writing these assignments by making the process as entertaining and easy as possible. Non-fiction, for me, is more analytical, more technical. So, whatever is going on in my life at the moment doesn’t really affect my non-fiction writing.

Now, how has writing affected my life? In every way imaginable. In ways I never even dreamed. If I were to make a pro and con list, writing would probably seem like it affected my life negatively. My house is a mess, my kids live on cereal more often than I’d like to admit, I don’t spend as much time with them (or with ANYONE for that matter) as I should, I tend to spend all my time in front of my computer instead of out in the world…

But the pros are pretty awesome. Because of my writing, I’ve met the most wonderful people; I now have an amazing outlet for both the more analytical/educational non-fiction side of me, and the overly imaginative/dreamer fiction side of me; I get to spend my free time doing what I LOVE; I’ve learned to be patient and persevering and PROUD of who I am and what I do. There is nothing quite like working toward your dream. I’ve found out just how strong and determined I can be. Writing is helping me develop into the person I always wanted to be. :)

How has writing affected your life? And does your life affect your writing?

7 comments:

Tiffany Garner said...

This is so true. I can look at the characters in my story and see where they came from--either from someone I know or someone I want to be. The situations also strongly reflect what I'm going through; an internal battle will be manifested by the heroine facing a villain she can't quite defeat. And anyone who knows me will tell you my writing has taken over my time and attention. I try to balance it, but the truth is it's a part of me and I'm a part of it :)

Monica B.W. said...

Oh writing totally has affected my life. And sometimes my hubby just says, c'mon, just close that damn computer down! lol-
But then yeah, I've met the most amazing people in the writing community, too!

Mark Noce said...

"An emotion sport"...nice quote! Did you come up with that or is that from someone else. Either way, it's killer. Very cool post:)

Katrina L. Lantz said...

Right on! Writing is definitely something that feels like part of me. When I couldn't sit up at a computer for a few weeks, I missed it a lot. The sacrifices we make (no sleep) to write are totally worth working toward our dreams, like you said.

And ditto about meeting amazing people! You're one of them! :) Thanks for the inspiring post.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It affected it on every possible level! I like to say the chaos has become the balance now. It's led to so many things though, including professional speaking, something I never thought I'd do.

Elana Johnson said...

Great post, analyzing both sides. I recently signed on with an online company to write informational pieces. I haven't done one yet, because frankly, I'm not sure I can write something without the word "dude" in it.... Only time will tell.

Rebecca Kiel said...

There is interplay between the two. Life enriches my writing and vice versa. I love that about writing.