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This guest post is contributed by Anna Miller, who writes on the topic of online degrees .
Writing is one of the best jobs in the world and many people envy it, but what most people don’t understand is that writing is not all that it’s cracked up to be. Yes, it is great because it’s never routine and you continue to broaden your horizons and learn something new during the research process. But, if you think that writing as a profession is a bed of roses all the way, let me tell you that there are some times when there are sharp thorns underneath and other times when the roses don’t smell as sweet as they should.
One problem that writers face is what we broadly term “writer’s block” – the phrase refers to a situation where a writer is not able to write as well as they are capable of or where they’re not able to write at all. Now writer’s block differs from writer to writer, and no two people experience the same emotion. Some feel it when they’re overworked and are badly in need of a break; others are unable to write when they’re forced to write about something they don’t really care about; and yet others feel the block when they’re beset by emotions such as sadness and depression because of a loss or other personal trauma.
When a loved one dies or a relationship goes awry, it’s hard to focus on work and your body refuses to do your mind’s bidding even if your mind is willing to work. Some writers use these emotions to produce their best work while others find that they’re too drained to find the energy to work. In general, most writers tend to produce some of their best work when they’re at an emotional low, especially if they write about something deeply personal and that holds significant meaning for them. They end up revealing much of their emotions through the words they’ve penned. But the same is not true when they write to comply with someone else’s instructions, that is, when they write for professional reasons and not because they feel passionate about the subject.
In general, emotion is a double-edged sword that can cut a writer both ways – it can either drive you to produce your best work, or ruin your focus and concentration and render you unable to write at all. In some cases, very strong emotions blind you to the truth and make you biased, so you compromise your work if you’re supposed to be an unbiased observer and report the facts as they are.
When you know how to harness your emotions the right way, and use them to produce your best work, you become a better writer.
Image: Flickr CC Kristian M
- When should you use personal pain in your writing?
- Podcast: How to beat writer's block with Tom Evans, The BookWright and author of ‘Blocks'