My mindset when writing a novel

When I’m in the process of writing a book, I’m more focused on planning it than writing the novel itself. It’s difficult to write the chapters as days, weeks, and months passed. The hype dies out and you have to reintroduce yourself back to the emotional and mental state you were in when you felt like writing the story. I don’t know how other writers do it or their mindset when they’re writing a novel throughout the year. But I’m sure there are days they’ll lose interest to even write a word. And I admit, I’m one of those people.

We’re only human. Situations and experience around us change, and sometimes, affect our perception and emotional state, which render us immobile to proceed in writing our current works. For writers in the same boat as I am, who are in an online writing community in which we have weekly updates and promised deadlines to post chapters, it’s ten times more difficult to uphold this emotional and mental focus on wanting to write and finish the book. But of course, there is a drive for writers or creators to finish what they’ve started, it just takes time to get there.

In my writing experience, whenever I have a new book to write, I’m so engrossed in the early stages because it’s fresh in my mind. I plan out the plots and a few scenes ahead of time—a habit I’ve recently do. However, as days and weeks pass on, and currently, I have a day job, that feeling gets dwindled and dimmed by work pressure and sometimes health issues, which was my case recently.

The emotional state I’m in doesn’t give me enough boost to give me the mental capacity to keep the same tone and voice of the story I’m writing. I don’t want to make a rom-com novel turn dark just because I was in a bad mental state in my personal life. Although writers, at times, say their work isn’t personal, it is part of themselves they are putting into words. It’s a form of expression. The readers would notice something would be off, maybe not at first, but a certain word change, or description of the character’s choice of words, it’ll give off a vibe.

To be professional—and not ruin the kind of story I want to tell, I’ve learned to distance myself from writing when I’m incapable of being in the mindset of how I wanted the story to feel. This sort of situation happens to me every story that I write. And it became a personal challenge.

I want to open up and share with you something I don’t share as much to my readers. Earlier this year, I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2.

For years, I had trouble handling mental and emotional collapse. I didn’t even know I had Bipolar and thought it was just mood swings (extreme mood swings). I won’t get into detail about it here yet but will talk about it in my future entries.

Fast forward, I’ve currently sought help and treatment. Both personally and professionally, it helped make me a better person and storyteller. These days I’m trying to find a common ground and getting used to not having a weird emotional outburst, which kept me from finishing a story I’m writing.

After seeking help, I’m in a better mindset in writing upbeat and fun stories. And I’m comfortable writing more serious and mentally exhausting scenes as well. When I decided to make writing as part of my life, I hadn’t thought of it to be ‘a job’. With the responsibilities attached to it now, it is a job for me.

I’ve no regrets and very happy I get to put in my job description that I’m a published author. Because it is work. And more people should see how much work it is to write something out of nothing.