Guest post by Reba Hoffman
As writers, you spend a whole lot of time creating characters and walking with them through all sorts of trials. The same thing that makes a compelling story for the reader can cause all sorts of challenges for you the writer. Why? Because you are emotionally involved.
The more time you spend with your characters, the more of yourself you have invested in them. And, because you experience their tragedies with them, your emotions can be affected.
It’s a great thing—even necessary—that you are so connected with those you create and write about. It’s what makes you a great writer. But, it also places you in a place of emotional vulnerability. Here’s how it may show up.
Feeling blue or even depressed after writing a negative emotional scene. You may react just like if your best friend suffered the same scenario as your characters. Remind yourself it’s only fiction.
Feeling fear if your character is being stalked or if they are attacked. Prove to yourself you are safe by walking around your environment that is free from those who would want to harm you.
Feeling abandoned by your characters when you write “The End”. As crazy as it sounds, just as readers feel a sense of loss at the end of a really good book, so can the author. The best way to overcome this is to immediately start developing your next book.
These and other emotions are common to writers. If you’re not expecting them, they can sideline you. But if you understand what’s happening, you can combat them. You’ll be able to write a compelling story with amazing characters without suffering emotional fallout yourself.
The deep emotions that you experience are just one of the incredible gifts you have that will make your character resonate. And your readers will throw down the greenbacks to purchase your books. Due care with your own emotions will keep you healthy and writing for years to come.
Reba J. Hoffman is the founder and president of Magellan Life Coaching (www.magellanlifecoaching.com). She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Counseling and is a natural encourager. She serves as Member Care Coach for My Book Therapy and is the author of Dare to Dream, A Writer’s Journal. You can connect with Reba through her motivational blog, Finding True North, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow her on Twitter at @RebaJHoffman.