I always believed that whole idea of being in the ‘mood’ to write was poppycock (aside: I believe that is the first time in my life I have written the word ‘poppycock’). I was/am a firm believer in BICHOK (Butt in chair. Hands on Keyboard) no matter what – rain, shine, happy, sad, inspired or not just get the words down and do it every day and presto (well, presto may involve months of BICHOK) you have a workable first draft of a book. But lately, especially with this last year of highly stressful personal life and emotions going through the wringer and the myriad of decisions, decisions, decisions that I’ve had to attend to, my BICHOK approach has changed to BIBHOC (Butt in bed. Hands on Chocolate) more often than not. I have come to believe that mentally – emotionally – I have to be in a good mood to write, to create something.
I’ve even looked up some articles to justify this shameful revelation of mine. See the following story about how being in a positive mood boosts creativity at work.
You’d think this would be a no brainer. Of course you have to be in a good mood to create! How else can you access all those wonderful areas of the brain that surprise you with their inventiveness unless you are relaxed, open, stress-free? But …
What about those grumpy, unhappy, miserable, hermit-like writers who create masterpieces yet seem to hate everything in the world?
What about all those writers writing on a deadline, who have ill relatives, had their car break down, lost their wallet etc. etc. and still write and create amazing books.
Why can some people do that? Why can’t I???
I wonder if it has been because my environment (my home) has been in such disruption lately that (homebody that I am) I have been unable to adjust as well to that stress as I could have to the litany of stressors I just listed above? I think, for me, my environment directly affects my mood thus my ability to write. And by environment I don’t mean I have to be sitting in my living room chair with the lamp on and my favourite pillow behind me. No, I can write on the subway, in cars, at skating arenas, in doctors offices – anywhere really. I can tune out the outside world. But if I don’t have that refuge to escape to at the end of the day or if that refuge is so disrupted that it is no longer a refuge but someplace I dread going, then that seriously affects my ability to write.
So for me, environment affects mood which affects my writing. Or lack of it. What about you? Do you need to be in a good mood to write well? Or does angst and stress actually bring out the creative beast inside you?