Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Warning: I have thirty or more different reasons to feel sad...

I suffer from bouts of depression. We all do. It's a bloody sad, sad world. However,I feel as writers, we have to be MORE careful.

Why?

Because writers, like you and I, have something I call 'CHARACTER EMPATHY'. When my real, non-imaginary life is going badly, I feel sad... depressed even. The same as everyone else.

However, when anyone of my thirty or more characters in any of my novels or short stories feel's sad or depressed, I can also, for them, fall into sadness or depression. Take my character Sophia, whose head I'm in most, she' a strong character but even she gets sad sometimes and that makes me sad.

My character Theo, whose wife was in a car accident, is also feeling down. From his POV I'm sad. In fact, because I live the exciting life of my books, happiness and satisfaction are rarely felt, hence the excitement part. My life is a constant climax of events.

SO A TIP: take time out from writing each day just to go to that happy place. Look at a happy picture. I buy Britain magazine and look through the wonderful hotel adverts. Ah, to be in the Cotswolds or the Peaks.
Don't fall too deep into Character Empathy. Be happy. Think happy place.

ann

5 comments:

Mary said...

Wonderful insight and post. I am a new follower...

Michele Emrath said...

I haven't fallen into character-enduced depression yet. Thanks for the warning! There is plenty of sadness in the real world...Makes me wonder why we create more! And why we are so fascinated by it.

Thank you for joining my blog. Glad to meet another fellow writer and extend the community!

Michele
SouthernCityMysteries

Victoria D. said...

This post is interesting to me because your ability to connect with your characters probably makes you an amazing writer. However I would find it so exhausting if I went through that too much (especially b/c my stories tend to be a little serious).

Really unique post. Glad I read it.

Oh and you know you might really like this blog called Sharing Depression With U. It's very honest and the owner is also an artist. As someone with my own issues with "the blues" I can really relate to it. Check it out: http://sharedepression.blogspot.com/

And thanks sooo much for the follow. Just added you on twitter too! :)

Best to you,

Victoria

Ann Elle Altman said...

Victoria, thanks for the link, I will check it out. I mostly write mysteries that aren't too serious but last year I wrote a book of a serious nature. I cried like a baby while I wrote some scenes and had a difficult time getting out of the funk.

Thanks everyone for commenting.

ann

Corra McFeydon said...

They say when you stare at your computer screen too long, you should look away for a moment and focus on a different point in the room - to relax your eyes.

The advice in this post reminds me of the same.

"Look away from your novel for a moment. Rest your emotions."

Great post.