Writing Assignment: Write About Your Current Emotions

by Randy Murray on October 17, 2014

Emotions are messy things. We often do not feel just one thing at a time. We can be angry and sad simultaneously. We can be happy and wistful or pleased and worried.

And rarely do we stop and say, “what am I feeling right this moment?”

This is your big chance. Stop. Ask yourself the question and write using your answer.

Emotions are too often disregarded by those who seek to be intellectual creatures. Writers can themselves be guilty of this. But we are not stony, unfeeling automatons. I am not Spock and neither are you. I feel. I can be confused by my emotions. But I can also use them to fuel my writing.

For today’s assignment write about a single emotion that you are feeling. Your job will be to tease out a single emotion from what may be many different feelings. Pick just one. It doesn’t have to the strongest emotion, but it must be yours, what you are feeling at this moment.

Keep your essay simple. Give your emotion a name, then describe what you feel. Don’t justify your feelings, simply report them. You can be honest and write that you are feeling multiple things, but focus on the one you have selected. Clarify it for yourself on your page, and if necessary, relabel it after your description. “I thought what I was feeling was jealousy, but I think that it’s more a mixture of regret and envy.”

Don’t let your emotions overwhelm you, simply step back, let yourself feel, and then, write about that feeling as honestly as possible. When you begin writing, do not censor or edit yourself. Let your emotions drive your writing forward. There will be time for editing later.

For bonus points keep an emotional journal for one week where you can record your emotional state and track it from day to day.



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