Quite often when working on Three Sisters Exclusive, my emotions become involved with the character I’m writing about. I am left feeling the same as the character who has just gone through a terrifying situation, been hurt in some way, or been treated unfairly. As this is my first novel, I never knew this would happen before I began this adventure. These emotions range from joy and thankfulness, to anger and utter despair. So sometimes the going gets pretty rough and I emerge from my writing feeling like a soggy pumpkin, all lopsided and spongy in places. Or I’d shut my computer with a huff and fling myself out of the room like Captain Hook going after Peter Pan.

I realized I needed to control my emotions or I was going to be a basket case long before Three Sisters Exclusive was finished. I didn’t want to be controlled by my emotions. I wanted to able to control them. I found it exhausting and it was affecting my writing.

So I did some research and found  some very helpful stuff. Our emotions are reactions to what we are thinking. They follow whatever we’re thinking. Take away that sad depressing thought and I no longer feel sad. Think of my favorite place and I feel safe and happy. Emotions have no intellect. They do not analyze whether what we are thinking actually happened, or not; whether it is in the past, present, or future. They just respond. I may be thinking about something that happened years ago, or imagining something that may happen in the future, and my emotions respond as if it is happening now. And I become stressed out about something that actually hasn’t happened at all and probably never will happen.

If I want to change how I feel, I have to change my thinking. Maybe I need to be angry or sad while I’m writing to get it down on paper right. But I don’t have to stay there. When I’m done with that passage, I take a couple deep breaths, and consciously take my thoughts elsewhere. Then I shut down my computer and am able to go about the rest of my business rationally, without feeling depressed (or strangling someone).

If I want to change how I feel, I have to change my thinking. The key word in that sentence is want. Yes, I really don’t want my emotions to control me anymore. Do you?