Crying while writing: Is it a good sign?

Many writers wonder if they’re silly for crying over their own book. After all, we’re the ones writing it. We should be hardened against the tragedies we throw at our characters.

Right?

Eh… not quite.

You see, as writers, we have to get to know our characters. We spend months or years in their heads, going on adventures with them. We learn about them and in a way, befriend them.

So, when they suffer… we suffer.

Not to mention the potentially cathartic nature of writing.

I don’t know about you, but often times, if I’m struggling with a specific emotion or event in my life, there’s a chance that at least one of my characters is going to face something similar. It won’t be exact, of course. It’ll be fictionalized and adjusted to fit their life.

But it’s there.

And getting it onto the page helps me work through it myself.

So, when they cry about something similar to what I’m going through, sympathy kicks in, and I’m pretty likely to cry.

It helps to get things out and see them through someone else’s perspective. It lends the situation a halfway objective nature.

And of course, there’s this…

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.”- Robert Frost

If a scene you write hurts you, if you knew it was coming or if it snuck up on you, then it’s a pretty good indicator that the emotion is there. And if the emotion is there, then there’s a much better chance that your reader will feel it.

And don’t we want our readers to feel the things happening in our books? To relate and emote?

So don’t feel silly if you cry while you’re writing.

It may actually mean you’re doing a better job than you think.

And even if it doesn’t mean that, you’re certainly not alone. I cry while writing, all the time.

So keep going. Rip your heart out and put it on the page.

Keep reading. Keep writing.

Later.

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