When you write, does what you write affect your mood? Or does your mood affect what you write?
Have you ever thought of mood-based writing? Is there any other kind of writing? And is there a way to use mood-based writing to your advantage?
Writing and the human condition
Our culture, induced by hedonistic capitalism, relentlessly encourages us to restrain our emotions. We’re told at a young age that we shouldn’t feel certain things and that we should always overcome less desirable emotions. Or pretend that they aren’t there at all. We’re, more or less, conditioned to be “rational” robots that produce things we have no emotional attachment to while believing we should not interact with or rely on others. Not in any profound sort of way anyway. Why? Because “others” are our competition, of course.
But sometimes some of us decide to write it all down, what we’re feeling. And sometimes, luckily, beautiful writing comes from that. Writing that expresses humanity at its worst and best, and rationalizes emotional states somehow, but in their purest forms– comes from mood-based writing.
I’m sure you’ve read something at some point that struck an emotional chord with you. Something that allowed you to make sense of something you’re currently feeling. Or something you’ve felt in the past. It essentially allowed you to better articulate something you’ve felt and experienced. Even if you didn’t write what you read.
This is what makes reading and writing essential to the human condition. Using and processing language requires the rational side of our brain. And using language to express our emotions, in particular, offers solace and is empowering because we are literally able to finally give a voice to emotions that we’re conditioned to repress.
All good writing channels human emotions in a powerful way. It contextualizes what we’re constantly conditioned to repress and avoid. It’s bold and brave. The best writers learn to or have the ability to channel raw human emotions into their narratives. Whether they’ve realized it or not, what they’ve essentially mastered is mood-based writing.
What is mood-based writing? And how to embrace it.
Mood-based writing is writing that embodies moods, or emotional states, in a profound and relatable way. It articulates emotional states without analyzing them or explaining them away too much. It makes characters in a story more vivid, drives the plot of a story, and makes a story more relatable and believable– because it elicits realistic and relatable moods and emotions in readers.
To embrace mood-based writing, a writer needs to be brave but also self-aware and ironically, a little objective at times. He or she needs to be willing to channel emotions that most of us repress or hide or don’t typically try to fully understand.
To embrace mood-based writing, you should write when you’re experiencing heightened emotions and learn to better articulate those emotions using words as you’re feeling them. To do this, you can write journal entries. Or you can create a fictional character who experiences what you’re feeling. Being a bit more rational about a heightened emotional state via language can refocus the brain to be a bit more objective.
If you want to feel a particular mood, you can also create and write about characters who embody certain emotions. For instance, if you want to feel joyful, write about a character who is joyful or experiencing something joyful. You might be surprised by how effective doing this is, and how it can truly sway your mood. This tactic works because as you begin to articulate words of joy, your brain processes these words of joy. And as you begin to process these words, you start to internalize a different monologue in your brain that embodies and invokes more joy, so you feel more joy.
What’s your take on mood-based writing?
Have you ever written something to better understand a mood, or to experience a certain mood before? I know I have, all the time, even if unintentionally.
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