Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, August 31, 2012

Real life versus life of story

Do any of you have trouble shaking off the life of your story and coming back to real life? I'm writing about a very dark time and I'm finding that my mood is very much affected for hours after writing. I have trouble focusing on the next activity, still somehow back in my story.

Having never written fiction before, I have no idea if this is normal. It's certainly not fun. So if it is common, how to shake free and live your real life when you're not writing?

For those of you who aren't writers, this same issue applies if something is bothering you and you can't shake it off.



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I know a lot of writers get caught up in what they are writing and it follows them afterwards. (And vice versa - real life moods invade the writing.) So I don't think it's that unusual, Karen.
And maybe because I'm a guy, neither affects me much. Guess that's a good thing.

Jessica Bell said...

Being on to my third book now, I think I'm used to it. But when I was writing String Bridge, I had so many crying fits. It's normal. Over time you learn to live with it. You don't stop feeling it, but you can handle it better.

Karen Walker said...

Alex, yeah, my guy doesn't let things affect him either. It is a good thing.
Jess, that's helpful, thank you.

Arlee Bird said...

The story and the mood may dog me for a period, but I can't say how strongly it affects me most of the time. It becomes most difficult if the story wakes me up at night so I can't sleep. Then I guess the after effects of not getting a good night's sleep carry over into my normal day hours.

Interesting question for which the answer may be variable.

A Faraway View

Jennifer Shirk said...

I think I have more problems shaking real life and getting into my pretend world. LOL

Luanne G. Smith said...

It's true. I've been writing about this very confident, feisty woman fighter for a couple of years now and I think I've experienced a little of the "fake it 'til you make it" syndrome as a result. I sometimes catch myself looking at the real world through her eyes. So far I haven't gotten into any sword fights though. :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Yes, I get caught up in what I am writing. And then my husband wonders why I'm snippy afterwards.

Karen Walker said...

Lee, argh, I have so much trouble sleeping already that if that begins to happen, I'm really in trouble.
Jennifer, oh yes, I spent lots of time there as well.
L.G., it would be very interesting if you did!
Diane, mine, too.

Suze said...

'I'm finding that my mood is very much affected for hours after writing. I have trouble focusing on the next activity, still somehow back in my story.'

That's a great place to be! Not the dark mood part but the fact that the spirit of your story lingers! Lovely.

Jemi Fraser said...

Shaking off the story is very hard for me too. I think I'd be able to write some great horror stories because of my realistic and terrifying nightmares - but I couldn't live in that world so I'll never write them!

Carol Kilgore said...

Since I write in the broad mystery genre, I often write about murder. If I need to kill a character, I dawdle for days. I know he's going, and I know how, and I know all the details of the scene. I cannot make myself sit down and write it. It takes me making a conscious decision and saying out loud, "Today, I'm going to kill him," for me to actually do it. So it's sort of the same problem in reverse.

Donna B. McNicol said...

This is my first novel and I find I am even dreaming about my characters. LOL!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen ... I can quite imagine it - and have often thought about it ... just never had a reason to experience it. My thoughts - because it must be so difficult - not like an actor ... who is acting out someone else's 'character portrayal' .. but it was your experience and even though it's so different now for you - the experience of writing about it must be very drawing in and back - rather like rewinding the video .. I hope you can find the sunshine again ..

With thoughts - Hilary

Talli Roland said...

Oh yes, it's definitely normal. If I've written a scene that's emotional, it tends to linger with me the rest of the day.