Writing in Crisis – One Writer’s Opinion


By: Linette Morgan

A writer’s bane can also be a blessing.  We have the uncanny ability to escape, for lack of a better word, into new worlds which exist in only our minds; for the time being anyway.  In many way, these worlds mimic our own, or conversely, they are the exact opposite of a world filled with turmoil and stress.

There are in this scenario, two different types of writers.  The first thrives; They have the innate ability to create a world which allows an escape from the crises in their lives.  And sometimes these writers can utilize the stress and conflict as an inspiration.  Their creative muse feeds on this energy. It can create dark and arduous world which, depending on the genre, might be quite beneficial!

Imagine a writer like Dean Koontz.  As an author, Mr. Koontz’s muse must be feeding heartily on the tension and strife which are rampant recently.  His worlds parallel our own, only he taps into the dark energy of murderers and other various criminals. He describes death in a way that makes it possible to feel every ounce of fear from the victim and sickness from the criminal… And it turns out brilliantly!

The second type of writer struggles, much like myself. The environment surrounding these sometimes muffles the voices of their characters.  Discord, hurt, fear, it all makes my brain feel sick.  Feeling sick is the problem.  What happens when you have the flu or that nasty bronchial cold that just won’t let go for most of the winter? I’m not sure about you, but the last thing I feel like doing is going to work.  All I can imagine doing is holing up in the dark with a thick blanket and soft pillow.  Isolation and sleep are my best friends and my characters sleep it off as well.

Right now, our country is going through a very uncomfortable transition.  For some it is less so than for others, but the transition is happening regardless.  We are finding that the people we love and respect have far different values and beliefs than we do.  (A distinct fact, regardless of what side you’re on.)  This distresses our minds and hampers many writers’ creativity.

For me, this is a great time to go back and read over what’s already written.  I can be technical and factual and not worry about influencing my characters to do things that they wouldn’t normally do.

For those of you who have darker muses? Thrive, my friends; drink it up! Enjoy the darker days and please, let me read what you’ve written when you’ve spent all that energy.

My final point is this:  Don’t let the energy beat you up and discourage you.  Find other things to do with your time so it’s not wasted, and for goodness sakes, whatever you do, never give up!


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