On what makes writing so emotionally draining.

Yesterday I finished writing the 24th chapter of my new book, “A Bear in sheep’s clothing” (a.k.a. BISCA). It’s a book about superheroes, supervillains, the dangers one continent is under, and, mainly, the value of thinking for yourself.

When I typed the last period of the chapter I turned my iPad off (for I was writing in bed), put it aside, and went to sleep. Since I’m posting my first draft on Wattpad, today I added a cute image, my author’s note, and finally published the chapter.

It’s not only about what you create or how you create it but also about the intense feelings you develop for them.

Now, I make a point of never re-reading my chapters right after posting because I always notice things that can be improved and this slows down the writing process… but for some reason, today I simply couldn’t resist. And, girl… what a ride.

I read it as if it was not my own. It was a sad chapter that ended in a bittersweet note, filled with lovely moments in between. As my MC discovers some really adorable points about his past, a secondary character receives the news he just lost someone very important to him–and as he is helped out of the scene, my MC notices the whole range of his feelings for said secondary character.

It was a chapter that started with a punch of happiness and adorableness and ended with the miserable realization that the pain you watch can also be the pain you feel. This is exactly what I’m feeling right now. I’m feeling sad because I saw how heartbroken my characters were.

And hell, I’ve been feeling like this since the first moment I started to write my first novel, years ago–but only now I’m discovering how powerful this feeling is. I create real, intense connections with my characters and it pains me to give them the hell I’ve schemed for them. I’m feeling like shit for seeing how Léon and Rob reacted to what happened to them, but at the same time I know I wouldn’t change it for the world.

After all, shaping a world or a whole person is not easy. It takes time, practice, loads of patience and a pinch of salt in the wounds.

The connections we create with our characters and with the worlds we build are exactly what makes writing so exhausting, so emotionally draining. And also the reason, I reckon, why we’re so protective of our work. This is what people mean to say when they quote “writing is very personal and very revealing.”

It’s not only about what you create or how you create it but also about the intense feelings you develop for them.

After all, shaping a world or a whole person is not easy. It takes time, practice, loads of patience and a pinch of salt in the wounds. But it pays off, mainly when the people reading have the same strong reactions as you did while writing. And what’s even best? Well, when they have different, unexpected reactions. When you touch them in a way you didn’t predict.

So yes, it’s emotionally draining all right, it’s still not completely paying the bills, and the odds are against me… but I don’t think there’s anything else in this whole world I’d rather be doing right now.

2 thoughts on “On what makes writing so emotionally draining.

  1. I know what you mean. I’m writing a biography and going back and forth between my diaries when I was younger and sorting through the memories is hard. A lot of tears and anger and laughter are happening as those words are being written. But that’s what I love about writing. You know someone is a great writing if they write with their heart involved because no matter what you will feel their writing and not just read it 🙂 God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

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