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Writing Sadness

Updated on March 24, 2020

Why Is Writing Sadness So Difficult?

We all feel and experience sadness in different ways so of course there will be times when we aren't able to write sadness into our novels when it's called for. This isn't a case of writers block creeping in, I can promise you this. The problem with having issues with writing sadness is because we just aren't in the right frame of mind, but it's hard to feel sad if your book is going well and you're pumping out scenes that turn into chapters.

No matter how hard you try there's just something about the sad part or parts that you just can't get right and it bothers you because everything else is going well. You may actually begin to question your entire novel because of this, but you need to stop. There is a way to write about sadness and yet still snap back into the happy writer mode that you were in before.

That way is called sad music.

Does Sad Music Really Work?

I know you're probably rolling your eyes and asking "does sad music really work," and the answer is yes, but it needs to be a certain type of sad music. It has to be sad music that speaks to you as in songs that you know will make you cry. I know it sounds like sabotage when I say that, but it's really not. If you're going to write something sad you need to feel that sadness in order to make it accurate and authentic.

My boyfriend is the one who actually told me about this because he'd watched a few YouTube videos about it when I'd told him that I was having so many problems. He also read and reread that particular chapter several times and even he thought that it sounded fake and like I was trying too hard. In an attempt to help me we sat and went over sad songs that he knows mean something to me and we put them into a playlist.

I still wasn't sure that this would work, but wow, let me tell you, it worked. I sat down two days later, determined that I was going to rewrite the chapter that I'd struggled with for months. I put ear buds in and turned on the playlist. Two songs in and I was crying, but I was also typing like crazy. It took me almost an hour to write 2,000 words, but I finished that entire chapter and even now when I went back to do some editing with other chapters I made zero changes to that one and I cried when I reread it.

What Type of Music Works?

Now this is the part of this that I don't have an exact answer for. I listen to most everything so my list ended up being mostly country music and a few other genres. What music genres you choose for your sad music is up to you, but if you need a bit of help you can leave a comment and I'd be more than happy to share my list with you.

I've shared this with other people I know who were struggling with writing sadness into their novels and it's worked well for them. I hope that this helps everyone who reads it and also if you're an aspiring author I'd love to chat with you sometime. I participate in Nanowrimo and April will be my first Camp Nanowrimo.

Writing Tips In General

The best things I've learned since I started writing every day are things that most people don't ever think to tell you when they make videos of how to get started as a writer.

1. Schedule time to write every day.

2. Split chapters into smaller parts or scenes.

3. Make your writing time all your own. Turn off your phone ringer and put on earbuds.

4. Make a playlist of music that you feel will be inspiring or will keep you on track with your writing.

5. Always make sure you have a drink and a snack because those will be two things you'll want as soon as you sit down to write.

6. Set goals for yourself. If you want to hit a certain word count every day stick with it and don't let yourself get distracted from meeting your goal.

7. Once you have finished your entire first draft of your novel let it sit for 90 days untouched. After 90 days reread the entire thing with a fresh perspective and begin your editing.

8. Do as many rewrites and rough drafts as you need to. Only you will know when everything is right the way that it should be.

9. Reward yourself for a job well done when you're meeting all of your goals.

10. This is the most important tip...HAVE FUN! If you aren't having fun or enjoying the writing process then perhaps you shouldn't be writing in the first place.


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