Do You Cry While You Write?

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Ailish Sinclair

Scottish blogger and writer Ailish Sinclair asks a question which I can answer, sort of: “Crying While Writing: anyone else do this?”

Crying While Writing: anyone else do this?

The other day, as I read to my wife a chapter of my new book in progress, Ozias, Prince in Peril, I found my voice beginning to break as I came to the death of a major character to whom I’d already grown attached. I didn’t actually cry, but I came close: I already loved this character and writing him out of the saga was… well, hard.

Ailish makes a good point. If the writer can’t get emotionally involved with the story he or she is telling, why should the reader? You have to believe in your story. It has to seem real to you, at least while you’re writing it.

I won’t forget how upset Patty and my editor, Susan, got a few books ago when they thought I’d killed off the old Abnak warrior, Chief Uduqu. “I was ready to come up there and punch you in the nose!” Susan said. And Sir Walter Scott had to rewrite part of Ivanhoe because his printer was so upset over the death of Athelstane. I’m glad I didn’t have to rewrite The Glass Bridge.


4 comments on “Do You Cry While You Write?

  1. “If the writer can’t get emotionally involved with the story he or she is telling, why should the reader?”

    So very true. As far as the books I have written, without strong feelings, opinions, or beliefs about the subject, I would not have written one word.

    Yes, at times I have. I wept while writing one poem for my daughter during her very short life, and when I wrote two more poems about her after her passing. There have been other times, when grief has taken hold of me, that I wept when I wrote. And sometimes when I write, to friends, my heartfelt feelings.

    And as the title of the song states: “Sad Movies Make Me Cry,” Yes, they do. As, do sad stories, real or fictional.

    1. I don’t set out to write sad stories, but sad things do happen. Sometimes I’d ruin my own story if I decided not to let them.

  2. It wouldn’t be a good fictional story if sad or bad things didn’t happen. Those kinds of things happen in real life.

  3. I keep a journal and I have cried as I wrote some troubling entries. But I needed to get it out of my system and onto paper even though I cried as I did so. It heals me somehow inside and the hurt even though it still may be there, the sting is lessened because I was able to “unload” it in my journal.

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