One day a loved one made an innocent observation about how there is a familiar monthly pattern to my writing and how it could be influenced by my hormones.
I choked on my herbal tea (great for when you are feeling hormonal) at the thought of my writing process exhibiting a familiar monthly pattern.
My goodness, I often congratulate myself on letting the creative tide carry me along and seeing where it takes me. There is no pattern to my writing life. Everyday is different for me.
Also, how can they link my writing process to my hormonal cycle? It’s not like I am always angelic at the start of my menstrual cycle and unhinged by the end.
‘My writing is NOT influenced by my hormones,’ I shouted and then wiped my sweaty brow. ‘There are no big influences in my writing life. Well, there are a few things that nudge me, creatively; eighties pop music, romcoms, cake, powerful scented body lotions, bookshops, perfectly arched brows, my house faintly smelling of bleach, John Lewis’s home department and pink gin.’
I quickly dismissed the thought that my creative tantrums and tearful writing related outbursts mainly occur at the end of my hormonal cycle, as this is just a coincidence.
So, I kept a diary of my writing and my hormones over a number of months to prove this person wrong.
Diaries are useful tools. If filled out correctly and honestly they will give you a good insight into habits or patterns. As you can imagine I had high hopes my Hormones and Writing diary would clear up this little matter.
In my head this diary would prove that my hormones have no hold over my creative brain and there are no familiar patterns.
Here are the findings:
- Start of my menstrual cycle. Weirdly, with Estrogen on the rise, I found myself filled with optimism about my writing. Anything was possible including literary stardom. I was happier and creatively curious. Exciting new story ideas and literary brainwaves were common place. I was drawn to writing sugary sweet romances, filled with idyllic moments on moonlit beaches and wet suit clad, dashing heroes. I even adorned my diary entries with pretty doodled flowers, sun filled skies and sketches of attractive looking faces. During this special time of the month I was creatively confident and upbeat. Loved ones heard nothing but positivity from me. At the start of the month I had no desire to edit as everything I wrote was beautiful and amazing.
- Mid cycle. Estrogen went on the slide and so did my creative mood. I found myself wanting to write darker stuff. I had little patience for my characters and all thoughts of characters falling in love started to evaporate. Cracks in fictional relationships appeared and fledgling romances died by the third date. Interesting insight was that more real life problems came through into my romances. Life was not so sugary sweet. My desire to do a ruthless edit was getting stronger and built up as time went by. Loved ones heard a mixture of positive and negative comments, from me, about my writing.
- End of cycle. Thinking up ways I could make my characters suffer came easy to me. Diary entries were filled with doodles of screaming faces, rain and odd stick people. Romances ended abruptly and tears were common place. During this challenging time I thought about killing off a few characters and jotted down some initial thoughts on a collection of post it notes. By the end of the month when my hormones were in utter chaos I could not stop reaching for that ‘delete’ button. I was a bad ass edit queen by the end of the menstrual cycle. Creative tantrums and emotional outbursts were rife and nothing positive came out of my mouth.
Okay, so my loved one might have had a point. I hate it when a loved one makes an observation, which irritates you so much you go out of your way to prove them wrong and then you realise they might be (say through gritted teeth) right.
As I am not one to dwell on stuff or admit that they were right, I have decided to get my hormones to work in my favour. Yes, my hormones are now part of my creative team. *sigh*
I am going to get the best out of my writing and my menstrual cycle. *fist pump*
Here’s how things are going to pan out:
- Drafts of sweet romance novels are written at the start of the month.
- Editing is undertaken towards the end of the month, but not too near, as I can be a little ‘delete’ happy in those final days.
- Real life romances must be written mid month.
- Breakups to fictional relationships must be written mid menstrual cycle. If left to the end of my menstrual cycle my sweet romance could turn into a grizzly horror at any moment.
- Submission letters to agents must never be written at the end of the month.
Just keep writing x
Speaking of hormones, guess who is back TOMORROW on my blog?
Yes, Roxy Collins is back for a brand new blog series.
She’s been nagging me for months (inside my head) about wanting to find love again and she’s finally worn me down.
Read her new diary entry tomorrow.
All I will say is – THREE generations of ONE family are looking for love! Monday’s will not be the same again.