Impulsiveness and Creativity: How to Canalize Strong Emotions through Creative Writing

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Denise Alicea

This blog was created by Denise in September 2008 to blog about writing, book reviews, and technology. Slowly, but surely this blog expanded to what it has become now, a central for book reviews of all kinds interviews, contests, and of course promotional venue for authors, etc

Impulsiveness and Creativity: How to Canalize Strong Emotions through Creative Writing

By Linda Craig

Think about Leo Tolstoy, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, and Franz Kafka. Do you know what these masterminds had in common? Strong emotions and impulses they could only control through writing. All writers are emotional. Their creativity would be very limited if their personalities weren’t distinguished by the elements of courage, anger, and impulsiveness. A great writer is never a conformist!

Hypergraphia is a behavioral condition that proves a peculiar thing: the intense desire to write is an impulse itself. However, this type of impulse is different from the usual feelings and thoughts regular people experience on a daily basis. It urges you to express your deepest emotions. It helps you think of different characters and situations that would convey your message. In the absence of such impulse, authors wouldn’t be able to create literary masterpieces.

How Can You Turn Impulsiveness into Literature?

There is a theory that explains how every negative personal attribute can be associated with a positive one. If we translate this so-called silver lining theory to a writer’s work, we can conclude that he can boost his creative performance if he canalizes impulsiveness in a proper manner. You are aggressive, opinionated, and emotional? Congratulations; those are personal traits that characterized many famous writers throughout history.

Don’t get carried away, though; no one said you shouldn’t make an effort to control those emotions when you’re interacting with other people. You should not direct them towards yourself either. Express them on paper. Use that drive to create a short story or a chapter in your book. Maybe you can get an entire novel out of it?

Bonus Hints: How to Draw Inspiration from Strong Emotions

  1. Don’t get stuck in a scheme.

The impulses you are currently experiencing may not be related to your current project. The point of creative writing is to follow your instincts and compose anything, at any time. If you are angry because of trending news that reminds you how twisted our society is, but you cannot incorporate those opinions in the novel you are working on, start writing something else. If you don’t want to get distracted, then write down the ideas in your diary, so you won’t waste the impulse that drives you forward.

  1. This is a gift. Nurture it!

Don’t try to fight these emotions. Do not suppress them, since they can easily ruin your relations with people around you. You need to learn how to navigate them towards a useful purpose: writing. You feel anger and despair? Sit down and write!

  1. Focus on the good result

Everyone experiences emotions similar to the ones you are going though. The difference with great writers is that they know how to turn them into something beautiful. A good author knows how to embrace impulsiveness for a greater good. Create something bigger, greater, and more powerful!

Don’t let the to-do list suffocate the writing muse. The paper is a good listener. With time and practice, you’ll learn how to appreciate and nurture this drive.

Prepared by Linda, passionate blogger and editor at assignment writing service Assignment Masters.

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Veronica Bale

This is some very good insight into the impulses that drive us to write, and a good reminder that for authors, writing is more than just hammering at the word count of our current works in progress. I have a diary for writing down my thoughts, and use it far too seldom. I love your advice, “If you don’t want to get distracted, then write down the ideas in your diary, so you won’t waste the impulse that drives you forward.” Thanks for the reminder that this is just as important to the creativity process as developing your current plot and characters!

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