Making Lemonade Out Of A Bad Day

lemons_01Not too long ago I was just not having a good day. I was rather upset by external circumstances that left me in a foul mood. I was trying to write and was just distracted by my ill humor.

But I forced myself to sit down and write my intended goal for words. I sat down and started writing and ignored how I felt because it wasn’t very creative. However, a funny thing happened on the way to my writing goal – I transferred some of that mood to the page.

The scene on which I was working was actually perfect for my mood. I was tense and the scene needed that tension between several characters. I found that what I had written carried over well with my POV character in this scene.

Now I’m not suggesting that you artificially force yourself into various moods just to complete writing. That would be difficult and require acting lessons. However, sometimes your mood – if you aren’t any good at acting – can really influence your writing.

Just a suggestion, but if you find yourself in the proper mood for a particular scene why not go back to it and re-write some and let your mood carry-over into it. Better yet, if you know you have an upcoming scene that mirrors your current mood maybe you can make good use of it and write ahead just to capture what you need. You can catch up later and maybe find what you wrote to have several parts that are worth keeping, maybe even help you with plot fixes and other ideas.

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Frustration stress and writers blockBetter yet, actually address the real issue of authentic emotion in your characterization. How do you sift your wording without being distant or relying on adverbs? When using deep POV try referencing The Emotion Thesaurus and then think about how an emotion or mood feels. Then find ways to get that nuance into your writing.

So don’t just stew in a bad mood, use it. Make lemonade out of those lemons. Then sweeten it up with some editing later. Then when you’re done go be nice to yourself and let go of that bad mood. Use your mood for some fictional mood and maybe you can enhance what your writing. And remember, those positive moods can be just as helpful depending on the scene. Not in the mood, the salt in the necessary ingredients with some reference material.

Book Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover - CopyHow do you write mood and emotion? Where do you find inspiration for fictional tension? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

Clip Art licensed from Microsoft Office

Lemons photo courtesy free photo section



  1. “Now I’m not suggesting that you artificially force yourself into various moods just to complete writing. That would be difficult and require acting lessons.” — For some of us, it comes naturally — no acting lessons required. I agree, though, that it’s not a good idea to make oneself be in a bad mood just to write a dark or tense scene. Better to just put those moods to good use when they happen anyway, because they do happen anyway. Now, deliberately cheering up and thinking positive to make it easier to write a cheerful, positive scene… Why not?

    (The Emotion Thesaurus is a really useful resource. I bought it several weeks ago, and I can already see that it will come in handy when I need help brainstorming how to describe something.)

    1. Thomas, I’m tardy in replying – I almost missed this comment. Thanks for visiting and sharing your reaction. I agree for some people the emotion comes much easier than for others. Time and experience with writing help as well.

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