Thursday, March 05, 2009


I play a little online poker now and again, just for a bit of fun and beer money, and I recently brought a book on the subject. The author very interestingly talked about moods and how different ones affect your game. The basis of it was, never play in a bad mood as you won't be able to concentrate and you'll loose money. Always play when you are happy, calm and relaxed. This got me thinking.

How do our moods affect our writing? If we're writing a comedy should we only write when we're in a happy mood? Should we write horror when we're in a bad mood, and we're mad at the world or people and we want to get back at them? Would a happy mood make a comedy more funny and would a dark mood make a horror more scary?

I'm very interested to hear your thoughts on this because it's something I've never thought about before, but is perhaps something I should consider in the future.

What do you think? Does your mood change the way you write, and do you have to be in a certain mood to write a certain genre?


laurence timms said...

I've never really examined how my moods affect my writing - because I'm always horrifyingly upbeat and gleeful (!) - but I do know that the time of day affects my writing. I don't know; different stuff seems to come easier at certain times of day.

But you didn't really want to know that, did you?

Rosie Jones said...

For me it is more about what is happening around me. Too many family distractions or life issues ensures my writing chair is about as comfortable as sitting in a bed of nettles and try as I might, I can't set to it.

I have found I can apply myself more effectively to the task of writing, just after full moon. So maybe the werewolf in me is inhibiting creative endeavour.

When I am writing my rom coms though, it definitely helps to think happy thoughts and stay upbeat, in order for the wit and the comedy to be as sharp as I can make it.

But hey Dom, you're the one with the break throughs, so you must be doing something right.

Sofluid said...

I usually go into something with a huge brainstorm. Once I get into it, I seem to zone into the relevant "mood" despite whatever mood I was in previously.

The main challenge in this sense, though, is getting started in the first place! If I'm in a wrotten mood I'm less likely to start writing. Then again, I always find it hard to start writing, even if I'm ina happy and positive mood. So I just force myself to sit down and absorb it for a while. To "zone in".

Dominic Carver said...

Atmosphere plays a big part. I can't concentrate when my son is running around my feet, so I tend to do most of my writing when everyone has gone to bed. But I agree once you're in the zone everything else fades away and I tend to get into the mood of the script, be it a thriller, comedy, or dark drama.

So maybe you create your own mood while writing, and the mood you were in before you started makes no difference.

Paul McIntyre said...

Interesting post. You could compare working in this way to how method actors prepare for a scene - immersing themselves in the emotions needed. So - "method writing" anyone?

I find your personality does come out when you write - i can be quite glib and sarcastic and as with laurence above, am constantly a chipper happy sort, so that comes across naturally perhaps - I do find it difficult to write anything heartfelt at all.

Oh god I'm dead inside!

laurence timms said...

Paul - perhaps we need to arrange some dastardly deeds to be undertaken on one another so as to bring about fear, dread, anger and other such emotions. You know, all for the good of the script.

Paul McIntyre said...

I've kidnapped your dog, Laurence...

laurence timms said...

So that's where he got to! My mum told me he'd gone to live on a farm. Mind you, that was in 1975.

I bet he's a bit stinky by now.

By the way, I have all your shoelaces.

Paul McIntyre said...

It's not taking my shoelaces that hurts - it's knowing I have to resort to velcro. You've cut me deep. Real deep...

It is only now I feel I'm able to write that tragic concentration camp set abortion drama I'd been putting off. Thank you, a thousand thank yous!

laurence timms said...

I'm still going to have to fray the ends. You do know that, don't you?

Got to start what I finished.

Hang on, that's wrong.