In general, we tend to think of emotions as what we feel and what can at times, drive us to act. For example, we may eat ice cream or some sort of “comfort” food because it makes us feel happy. We do community service to help others but also because it makes us feel good about what we are giving back. We know that others most likely feel as well but it isn’t always the case where we transplant ourselves into others to truly understand how they feel or even why they feel it. This is common because we live with our emotions day in and day out whereas it can take a bit more effort to determine what exactly it is that others are feeling.
As writers, one of the things I love is that it is very frequent we must gauge what others are feeling or determine how best to make our readers feel something specific as we write say a fight scene or a romantic scene. Will our readers be pulled in by page-turning anxiety or will we make our readers cozy up in a big chair as our hero and heroine experience their first, long-anticipated kiss. It’s an awesome realization to think of the power we each have as individuals when it comes to impacting others. Yet, I will also say that with that power comes responsibility. In the world of fiction, I want to make my readers feel as they read and even provoke thoughts about the world I create. In reality, our impact is a lot more potent and it’s important for us to think of the consequences of our actions.
My point here? I’m not going to go all mushy and say we should all be sensitive and touchy feely, but the reality is we all feel whether we are raised to admit that or not. Some of us feel more than others. That being said, its important to take time to observe how we make others feel and explore that. While I realize we are busy with work, life, cutting corners with technology, etc., this is important as it is essential to our humanity.
Happy writing this week!