21 Mar 2012

Using emotion in writing: Appreciation

First, let me mention why I'm appreciative. I've heard about the health problems of two writer friends recently. The consequences must affect on their work.
After a fall, a broken hand and damaged arm have stopped one friend from learning a difficult new computer technique with iClone movie-making.
I know what she's going through. On two consecutive years, I broke limbs: a finger and thumb joint. Every simple household task turned into a mountain to climb and my coping mechanism took over. Sure, I could type with other fingers, but the drain of energy tends to weaken creativity.
An autoimmune disease has struck another friend. Her positive attitude and the support of wonderful friends help her to overcome any obstacles. She's half my age and full of drive and ideas. Modern medicine has ensured her disease will remain under control.
In the civilized world, we're so lucky to live in free societies where we can expect assistance. Even without money, the authorities would care for us. Around the world, so many people suffer and die, perhaps leaving children unprotected. No use decrying the cruel fate which places one person in a life of luxury and another in a hovel. We must make the best of our situation. We're here for a reason. As Desiderata says: You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. You have a right to be here.
Both my friends' conditions make me appreciate my good fortune. They bring into focus the world surrounding me.
Birds trill a welcome to spring and daffodils bloom wild under the bare branches of giant trees lining the street outside. With the use of my hands, I'm free to do the simple tasks of everyday life without relying on someone else. In the afternoon, a walker helps me up the hill for my daily exercise in the fresh air. Of course, the quality would be improved without exhaust fumes. Yet, even the constant stream of traffic makes me smile. I'm in contact with other people. A river of life streams past my door.
I can use this appreciation in my writing. The heroine could be untied and released from a hostage situation. Instead of hurrying on to her next assignment, let her pause and smell the freshness which only comes with spring. Let her rub her wrists, flex her fingers and reach for a daffodil.


  1. Thought provoking. Thanks

    Natalia Gortova

    1. Thank you, Natalia.
      What a lovely name. I think this reflects in your thoughts.

  2. The main character in my WIP has an incredibly supportive best friend (male, who much later becomes her husband), and she frequently has occasion to be appreciative for his concern, compassion, etc. She's pretty good to tell him how thankful she is to him and for him. For her personality, it just comes naturally. But I think it's a great thing to remind people to write about. In this society, I think we forget to be thankful/appreciative too often.

    Good post! Thanks! ^_^

    1. You're right, Stacy,
      We should appreciate everything around us. Who knows if it will last?

  3. Thanks for sharing this, Francene. Indeed, appreciation and gratitude are probably the most powerful emotions--not because of how strongly we feel them (as a matter of fact, it's rare to find a sincere feeling of gratitude without even a little wishing for more), but because of the power they exert over us. Glad I finally found your blog! :)

    1. You're right, appreciation is a powerful emotion. I'm glad you found my blog too.

  4. Thanks so much for participating in the A to Z challenge. We are so glad to have you!

    For the challenge, we ask that you take Word Verification off. Blogger is good about catching spam and we would like to make it easy for fellow bloggers to comment as they visit each blog in the challenge.

    Konstanz Silverbow
    A to Z co-host

  5. This is beautiful. When creating an interesting character, we certainly shouldn't forget to make them appreciative. I loved your last sentence and the part where you said "The drain of energy tends to weaken creativity." I didn't realize until I read this that my desire to be creative goes hand in hand with my energy level, but it does indeed.


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