Posted by Debbie Mumford
I remember reading an article by Jessica Morrell that included her musings on the subject of emotional intelligence. When I began reading, I expected to learn about the logic of my character arc. Instead, I read about me–and every other writer out there. Jessica discussed my ability to do what needed to be done despite how I felt at the moment. Could I be depressed, feel miserably misunderstood and undervalued, and still put my butt in my chair, get my eyes on the screen, put fingers to keyboard and write? Could I channel those self-destructive energies into character conflict instead of tearing into my own ego?
A very interesting, thought-provoking read, especially coming on the heels of a short motivational piece by Ralph Marston about how my time use highlights what I really want, as opposed to what I say I want.
I want to be a full-time writer. If that’s true then my choices, what I do with my time on a daily basis, will reflect that desire. If I allow my emotions to get between me and my keyboard, I’m shooting my dreams in the foot. So emotional intelligence becomes an issue I need to be aware of. Not that I shouldn’t honor my emotions and acknowledge my feelings. Far from it. I need to channel them into my writing instead of allowing them to deflect me from my work.
I think a better term is emotional discipline. Intelligence works as far as informing me that the potential roadblock exits, but it’s discipline that will get me around (or more likely over) the blockade.
Feeling like a fraud, like my writing sucks? Write a story or an essay.
Feeling depressed and miserable? Write a story.
Feeling angry and upset? Write a story and allow the characters to act on those emotions … and witness the carnage I’ve avoided in my real life.
Whatever emotion I’m experiencing, I must deal with it, soothe it, put it away with honor, and get my butt in my chair and my hands on my keyboard.
Why? Because I want to be a full-time writer and my time use needs to reflect that desire.