My W.I.P. is not a happy story. Sure, positive moments occur, but it isn't a book anyone will pick up to lift their spirits. The plot is dark; the protagonist is sad. And as the writer, the amount of time I spend in this depressed mindset really catches up to me at times.
I've been listening to the same playlist for a few weeks now. The songs are a combination of the protagonist's favorites, as well as songs that ignite the proper mood in me. And since not one of them is a fun, happy, upbeat melody, they are getting to me. All the more reason to finish this sucker, right?
When it comes to getting into character, I spare no expense. I watch movies and TV shows that portray similar situations. I read articles based on actual situations that match the story. I spend hours looking for interviews and testimonials. I watch youtube clips and podcasts. I do whatever I can to bring this story alive - to live the life of my character. To breathe the air he breathes.
But, I have realized breaks are important. I have to pull myself away to avoid forgetting there are enjoyable moments in life. For me, the key to breaking this mood has been laughter.
Since switching to earlier writing hours, I make it a point to watch something funny every night. Usually, I default to the Nick at Nite lineup (I'm not very exciting when it comes to television). But, I'm not watching for entertainment value, either. Whether it's a sitcom episode or a light-hearted book, I'm using it to detach myself from my book and my character.
Although it's vital for a writer to connect with his or her story to the maximum extent possible, we must not lose sight of our own world in the process.
How do you remove yourself from an emotional storyline? What distractions do you find helpful?