This paper aims to develop a deeper understanding of the process of creative writing, in particular its relationship to cognition and to feeling and emotion. These are areas of exploration that engage with the margins that surround the experience of doing creative writing, but which writers often prefer not to articulate. What do writers ‘mean’ when they describe, when asked, the experiences of creating their texts? This is especially opaque when it comes to the question of why writing has such emotional impact for readers (and writers)—and because feeling may or may not be consciously experienced when writing is done. The paper explores emotion and affect in the writing process. It argues that writing’s impetus, and its outcome, is determined not only by cognitive, conceptual formulations, but also by the determination of affective choices that are inseparable from cognition.