So I've been having some trouble recently, especially when it comes to keeping my themes in line. From time to time I find myself mid-way through a passage, scribbling furiously, putting the metaphorical pedal to the metal. I re-read what I've just scratched onto paper and notice...All my work sounds bitter or directly influenced by my day-to-day life prior to sitting down to write. This mostly comes to a head when my characters engage in dialogue. I live life by the phrase "there, but for the grace of God, go I," and I find it very easy to empathize with my fictional peeps. But recently, given the fact that my lady friend is pregnant with my baby and I'm having trouble getting ends to meet in preparation, I find all my characters' living out my own frustrations. I try to block off an hour every day to write, and when I get finished I read through and see that I've, ultimately, wasted the block venting my frustration through my fiction. My characters are too concerned with their future, or they end up sounding hollow and one-sided. Since I don't want my novel to reflect my life, this is a problem. I've tried several exercises to fix this. I journal, I write raps depicting horrible violence on capitalists, and even went as far as finding an old punching bag at a garage sale to beat on in my free time before I start writing. Needless to say, the beating helps a little. So, I thought I'd share that with you guys. I know that writing is an extension of ourselves. It is an art form and perhaps it could be argued that I need to embrace these emotions and channel them into productivity themselves. Like E.A. Poe, should my work reflect my own demented ideas, or do you guys find it easy to shed your own feelings when writing and keep things dissociated from your own reality? I'd really enjoy your feedback. Thanks in advance.