Writing in the Storm

People who know me a little sometimes describe me as calm. As a physician, I've worked in some intense settings, including the emergency room and the intensive care unit. Places where appearing calm and methodical is essential.

People who know me well laugh whenever the word calm is used to describe my personality. I am perpetually anxious, imagining worst case scenarios and all the things that could go wrong.

There is a lot to be anxious about in the modern world, and unfortunately, you can learn all about it on the internet. Writing requires focus and the internet is the opposite of a focus machine.

I've discovered that access to the internet makes writing much more challenging. I keep wanting to check the latest news about climate change, or one of the various wars, or the election. My mind doesn't want to focus on my work.

How do you write when your thoughts are caught up in emotions? If writing is a hobby, you can wait and write later on, or you can choose to write poetry or scenes that reflect your feelings, even if they don't really fit with your current project. But if you want writing to be your career, you have to channel your emotions into the scene you're writing right now, not another scene.

I imagine actors deal with the same problem. They must portray a happy character when they are feeling miserable, or portray sadness when something joyful is going on in their lives. How do you channel emotion into your work? How do you write in the middle of the storm?

No idea. But maybe I can find a video on youtube that will have the answer...