Saturday, 26 April 2014

The Roller Coaster of Writerly Emotion

As well as being a kick-ass school librarian, my wife works part-time helping new mums to adjust to all the stresses and strains of living with a baby. She has this nifty exercise that she does with them called "The Roller Coaster of Postnatal Emotion" where they plot out their positive and negative feelings about motherhood on a graph.

Now, I may not have the excuse of being a hormonal, postnatal woman, but it's nevertheless occurred to me that as a writer, my emotions are in flux like this all the time. So, as a scientific experiment, I've constructed the graph below as a genuine example of my creative highs and lows over the last week (though looking at it now, I wonder if I'd have been better off pretending that I'd made it all up).

The graph may take a couple of seconds to load, but once it has you can hover your mouse pointer over each of the dots to see the description of what I was feeling at that time (sorry, this probably won't work on touch screens - you'll need to be using a desktop browser). The scale at the side shows how positive I was feeling, with 100% being very happy and 0% being very miserable indeed!



  1. Brilliant! Am going to broadcast this immediately.

  2. Are you serious? If you feel that bad about what you're doing, quit and find something you care about. That way, even the bad days are good ones. How else can new mothers conquer their hormonal mood swings?

  3. Erm, perhaps the reason I feel bad is because I care about it too much?

  4. This is so good - and so believable/ not-dissimilar to my own yo-yo of a heart. Ta.

  5. Heh! I'm liking the retreat and chocolate high points.
    If it makes you feel any better, my insomnia is worse not better over the last few years
    *runs to read depressing article on insomnia*

  6. Brilliant post - I've had a week totally like that with my ms out to agents and a publisher - exciting, and scary with lots of self doubt thrown in!
    Good luck anyway I hope you get to plot a very high point when they say yes!

  7. This made me laugh but have to say the pain of writing comes no where close to the pain of the post natal apocalypse!

    1. Yes, Marie - you'll note that I made no claims in relation to that! I'm very glad that I'll never be postnatal, it was bad enough being a bloke caught up in the first months of having a new baby.