Special thanks to Leontine from Leontine's Book Realm for the super header.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Authorly/Readerly Stuff

So I was thinking yesterday, as I was writing something, how much my emotional state affects not only what I'm in the mood to read, but what kind of drivel turns up on the page. 

I'm going through some rather stressful (if idiotic) stuff at work (with the complete backing of my immediate managers thankfully), but that combined with PMS means that what I wrote the last two days is totally angsty and I cried while I wrote it. LOL Definitely not my usual light fluffy ha ha stuff. I mean it's not like the guy is undergoing torture and abuse, but I know at certain times I write much more emotionally angsty stuff. Last fall, when my job was REALLY bad and I actually filled a prescription for an anti-depressant (which I ended up not taking), I wrote something quite long, several hundred pages that was an emotional train wreck and did involve memories of childhood abuse. (Which I never suffered so don't panic.) When I'm feeling good, it's all light and fluffy and fun. 

When I feel like this though, I want to read light and fluffy and fun. The last thing I want to do is ADD to it when I'm feeling emotionally rather "fragile" for lack of a better word. It's like writing it down gets it out, but I don't want to read it which would bring someone else's emotional angst in, and compound it. At times I have plenty and don't need any more. Thanks anyway purveyors of angst. ;-)

So authors, do you find yourself writing different emotional types of stories depending on your own emotions or can you pretty keep an even keel? When you guys read, do you tend to wallow and read stories that have a similar tone to your mood, or do you read something that is the opposite, for example better able to handle a dark emotional story when you are in a good mood and life is going well? 

I may have to rewrite this little story when I'm a better mood, because the tone of this little trilogy is getting darker and more serious and not likely what people want/expect. 

Have a great Friday. Two more sleeps until Christmas. Guess I should wrap some of those gifts huh? 


Jenre said...

I definitely turn to the fluffy stuff if I'm feeling a little down. In fact, I usually keep away from new books altogether and read some of the books I know are light and fluffy from my keeper file. The Heaven Sent books are perfect for this!

I love angsty books but if I've had a tough week they are the last thing I want to read!

Clare London said...

Like Jen, when I'm down I often return to the books I *know* I like and are fun, rather than risk a new one, even if it says it's fluffy (like it doesn't actually *say* that in the blurb, but you know what I mean *g*).

But if it's a familiar favourite, I can also cope with reading angst when I'm in the same mood myself. I know that author's style connected with me before, and sometimes my reading is validation of how I feel, not just distraction. If that makes sense :0.

And yes, as an author I definitely feel my mood creeping into my writing. When I'm down, I find it hard to write *anything*, to be honest. The delight and energy just isn't there. But those feelings often give a useful benchmark for future stories. Not sure if that's a good or bad thing! :)

Tam said...

That's me Jen. I often go to my tried and true book I know will make me feel a certain way. Heaven Sent is a great example.

That makes sense Clare. :-) When I'm down I usually have trouble reading anything except old faves, but the writing seems to flow, it's just depressing as hell. Free therapy perhaps?

Chris said...

YES - comfort rereads all the way when I'm not feeling very cheery!

Happy holidays to you and the kidlet! :)

Janna said...

I love the angsty stuff no matter what mood I'm in. Although I have to admit I'm seldom really down.

For me it's more related with my level of stress: when I'm really busy I prefer to read the lighter, fluffier books because they are easier to put down and pick up again for shorter periods of reading time. For the angsty books I need time to process things, I guess...

I would want to read something more dark and serious from you, Tam. I adore your light and fun stories but I bet your angstier stuff will be good too.

Happy holidays and a wonderful vacation for you and your daughter. :)

Tam said...

I can always tell when I'm stressed Chris, I start hitting the same old same old. Oh and that lovely cold sore that popped up on my lip today. Arrgghh. Merry Christmas to me.

Aww, thanks Janna. I agree, during busy times light and fluffy is good. Sometimes more serious books with plot mean you have to concentrate more and follow it, you can just jump in and out. I'm sure I'll run out of light and fluffy one day and freak everyone out with some dark depressing angst. Although always a HFN/HEA, no Bittersweet for me. LOL

Janna said...

Oh no bittersweet please, no. That's too big of a leap, lol!