Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I'm Not a Bipolar Writer—What's Wrong With Me?

Lately I've been seeing a lot of tweets, status updates, and posts relating in some way to the bipolarity of writers. The euphoric highs of Mega-Manuscript Love, and the desperate lows of I Hate Writing But I'm Doing It Anyway, Sort Of.

I don't get it ... which makes me wonder if I'm missing something.

It's not the first time I've wondered that.

It's not that nothing about this business gets me way down (One word: rejection ... yeah) or way up (Full requests! Agents acknowledging me on Twitter!). But the super-extreme emotions don't tie to the actual WRITING OF THE STORY.

If you saw my post last Friday, you know I'm not into the super-whiny (or super-effusive) approach to much of anything. Aside from letting that writer-bipolarity dominate your social media presence, though, I imagine there's nothing wrong with it.

Is there something right with it? Am I actually missing something? Are my emotions not getting engaged enough as I write?

I don't think that's it. There was a particular scene that truly creeped me out to write. And I've gotten teary while writing others. So I don't think I have a death-grip on my emotions while writing.

Maybe it's my "analytic-artist" nature. (Trust me, it's taken ages to acknowledge the "artist" half of that.) The analytic part has never been prone to extreme emotions without truly extreme circumstances. (My teenage years don't count, Mom.)

I have times when the words come fast and furious. I have times when the pace necessarily slows down so my brain can work out some connections. I'm fine with both.

Here's the thing. I write because I want to. I write because I enjoy it. I write because I love reading what I've written, making it better, and having others read it.

The knowledge that I need to keep working keeps the love from taking me super-high. The love keeps the knowledge that I still have a lot to do from taking me super-low.

Every writer will have a slightly different process. For me, keeping the balance works. So, there might be things wrong with me, but this isn't one of them. It's just my way.

Are you a writer that hits those highs and lows during the writing process? What gets you through the lows? What do those highs feel like?

1 comment:

E.B. Black said...

I hit highs and lows. Not all the time, but it does happen. When I figure out some plot point for instance in a satisfactory manner, I usually get really high and feel proud of myself, but sometimes I look at my manuscript and all the mistakes and hate it. Especially when I'm doing things like I've been lately like reading the Hunger Games books and watching the movies. There's nothing like watching what a true story teller can do that can make me feel . . . intimidated and inferior. I don't resent her or feel jealousy or anything . . . I just wish I knew how to be as good or come up with as good of ideas.