Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Day 16: Tap Your Emotions

One essential "tool" in the writer's arsenal is the way we process and present our emotions to the world. We even get to play with our characters' reactions to emotional stimuli.

Then it follows that accepting the major emotions of love, hate, joy and despair, instead of judging them as good or bad, helps writers explore the reasons why people act and react. If you can stand back far enough to see the other side of these strong pulls to start and continue writing, then you are ahead of the game. If, as a writer, you hide from them instead, making everything sunny and bright or midnight gloomy, it's time to look at why humans live and die either fulfilled or frustrated.

One take on the emotional connection to creativity comes from a 2009 research paper titled "Emotions and Creativity, East and West."
"In popular conception --  not to mention psychological theory -- emotions are often viewed as biologically primitive responses that interfere with deliberate, rational thought; creativity, on the other hand, is typically ranked among the highest of the "higher" (uniquely human) thought processes," state James R. Averill, with the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Kyum Koo Chon, with Taegu University, and Doug Woong Hahn, with Sungkyunkwan University. (http://people.umass.edu/jra/studiesofemotion/articles/creativity/index.html)
The authors argue that "emotions not only interact...but that emotions themselves can be products of creative change."

To me, creativity and emotions are both harmed by any push to control and organize them. In turn, if we trust our "instincts" and accept the wide range of emotions in being human, we free ourselves to speak and follow our own truths.

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