Emotions Used in Writing

What emotion do you like to feel the most?

Most would generally believe that happiness is the default emotion that we all strive for. But, is that entirely true? Is happiness really a generic label we can adhere to the very complex range of emotions we call humanity? Nope.

All of us feel a wide spectrum of emotions that help us to define our world and the occurences within it. They help us like our senses help us. They provide a whole host of acceptable actions, reactions, decisions, and so forth. Something so abstract shouldn’t be quantified by one word. Happy. Sad. Angry.

What about mixing emotions? Emotions are rarely come by themselves, and quite often they are opposing spectrums. One that fascinates me the most is the spectrum of the masochist. Not pain per say, but let’s say anger. Hardship. Through anger, pain, hardship, stress. These types can find an ocean of willpower and strength through the bizarre combination of happiness and anger.

Why am I spouting off on this shit? Because like all the arts, emotions play a massive part in what we (as artists) produce. I operate on a spectrum that is so alien to some that it is repulsive. I operate like a masochist. I find immense pleasure in feeling anger, feeling pain. Sometimes, the more miserable I am, the more…”free” I feel. Especially when it comes to writing.

Fucked up, huh? I’ve been tracing this shit all over the place, trying to find out why I am like the way I am. Many experiences, values, lessons, etc all combine and pour into us to define who “we” are as a person. I like to take a closer look, and as far back as I can remember, I was verbally abused.

By parents? Never. Loved ones? Never. Friends? Never. I was very fortunate there. But, I was mercilessly made fun of in school. I mean, isn’t it obvious? My life slowly became defined by the amount of misery I was in. And I wasn’t happy. Isolation, masturbation, vindication. All these solo activities and fantasies ingrained in me a haphazard and dysfunctional way of defining my world. My world was anger and pain. So. It’s what I became used to, and it’s what I love. The more I am hated, the better I feel, and the more I can hate back. The easier it is to destroy. I didn’t feel “normal” happiness, so I had to teach myself to relish pain, anger, and hate and accept these emotions as what I personally call happiness.

Strange-ass shit. But I can assure you, this isn’t an internet tough guy routine.

Through much therapy and medication, I’ve learned to re-think the way I am wired for happiness. But, I will always indulge in that horrible anger that I always have inside of me. It’s a part of my personality, a part of how I operate. I need a personal investment, an emotion to find anything worth while, and the more intense the feeling the easier I can associate and deal with my world.

Writing is an act of masturbation for us all. And masochism for me. Two very isolated activities in my mind that bring me great joy. What kind of joy? True happiness? Or my definition of it? See what I’m talking about? It’s an area of infinite grey. Violence, sex, joy, anger. It all turns into the same thing for me. But only when I am isolated.

We are very rough on ourselves. I know I am. The self-abuse that I inflict via poor actions, or masturbatory actions (not necessarily sexual) that just tear me apart. In some sick way, I am happy when I am miserable- whether it be physical, mental, or spiritual pain. And when I am what most would call a “normal” state of happiness, I sometimes can accept it and enjoy it and embrace it. But other times, I find myself hollow, having a gaping chasm inside myself that the anger and pain would fill.

Writing isn’t therapeutic. I do love it, though. I have too many thoughts, too many stories to tell. All so violent, and twisted. So beautifully corrupted and corrosive. Poisonous. Infected. Writing is an act of psychic masochism for me. What my characters choose, what I do to them, why I do it. It gives me power where I never had any, a vessel to express my anger and fantasies in a safe way. Does that make it therapeutic? Fuck, I don’t know.

With that all said, find an emotion that you write with. Why do you write with it? What is your happiness mixed with? Is in unfiltered? Answer these questions, and you’ll write better. In order to entertain others, me must entertain ourselves first. If we want them to feel what we inflict upon them, we must feel it first and be willing to accept it.

What, you thought writing was all about franchises and movie deals? No. The good writers, the real writer has to write because it is a thundering need inside of them. I tell you all this shit not because I want pity. Not because I want to look tough. I tell you it because. Well? It’s true. I have no regrets with my life, or how I live it (for the most part). I don’t need validation, or attention. This entry is what it is, and you can accept it, use it, abuse it, or ignore it. It’s all up to you.

Why the fuck. Do you write? Spill it.

2 thoughts on “Emotions Used in Writing

  1. Very true about the foolishness of defining a range of feeling with one word. I met a man once who told me that the best moments of his life were when he was weeping. He called it being happily sad, because he felt horrible , but he knew at least he could feel it.

    Why write? Because I Need. Not in the way I’m supposed to, though.

    I don’t need to write in the way all those proper authors say the have to write or they will explode with their overflow of beautiful thoughts. I just feel empty, abstract Need. Something that has always existed within me, yet never has been filled by my life. It’s like in the Christmas Carol, when the Ghost of Christmas present shows Scrooge the spirits of Want and Ignorance. A horrible, squalid creature lives in me that has a desire that doesn’t seem to be sated.

    But Need can be channeled, and he gets channeled into what I write. All my characters have an aspect of Need in them. They all need something, whether it’s someone’s love or someone’s life. Sometimes they get it, for better or worse. And for just a minute, Need is filled. And I feel good.

    I suppose that might mean that I Need control. I Need to have a little world where men and women and children are game pieces to be moved around the board to my liking, and every little thing that happens to them, whether it’s them overcoming all odds or falling into the depths of madness, are all according to my fickle whim.

    Or it means I’m just insane. In any case, Need. That filthy, claw-handed child that people hide or ignore. I decided to pick him up and take him home with me.


  2. Please let me know if you’re looking for a witrer for your site. You have some really good posts and I feel I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please send me an e-mail if interested. Thanks!


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