Writing has a lot to do with understanding basic psychology. If we want our characters to be well rounded, or our copy to be genuine, the best place to start is by exploring natural human emotions and responses.
If you are somewhat new, or even rusty, on the subject of psychology consider checking out the links listed on this website: Psychology and Society
Of course, to some extent we all have a basic understanding of emotions, but with our busy schedules and the advent of technology, it’s often difficult to truly feel “in tune” with our emotions, let alone the emotions of others.
Sometimes the best way to get in touch with our own emotions is through journaling. I try to make it a habit to journal as much as possible. If you don’t have time to keep a journal, try taking moments throughout the day to check in with yourself and assess your feelings.
Finally, before you are about to write, Google search for a list of emotions. Sometimes I will just look at the image results and find the various charts to be helpful.
It might seem silly to read these lists of familiar words, but it can honestly help to put you in the right mindset for brainstorming. In this first post of a two post series we will explore the importance of considering emotions when writing for others.
Emotions You Want Them to Feel:
When you are writing something like a blog post, email campaign, TV commercial, etc think about what kinds of emotions you want your reader/listener to feel. What kind of language can you use to leave your audience feeling jubilant, hopeful, energized, or nostalgic?
Of course, deciding which emotion to draw upon depends on how much creative license you possess. If you are given an assignment in which you are unsure what kind of emotion you should look to draw out of your reader, consider the company for which you are writing and get a feel for the tone of their brand.
Emotions They May Already be Feeling:
Sometimes writers forget to consider what their audience might already be feeling – this notion is just as important to consider as what you would like for the reader to feel. Of course, we can’t read minds, and we shouldn’t try to pander to every possible emotion – this leaves no one satisfied. Instead, think about what your reader or listener might be doing when they come across your work.
For example, if you are writing an email, consider that your reader may be feeling stressed, overwhelmed, tired, etc. In this case, you’ll want to create only short, useful copy. Also, make sure your information is well organized so you take away any extra work for your reader.
What kinds of emotions do you consider when writing to others? How does this consideration change the way you write? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Stay tuned for Part 2 – Considering Emotions When Creating Characters.
Image Credit: Tracy Rosen