Writing happens through words. And, often, words help us to understand amorphous concepts. Words allow us to contain ideas by serving as symbols for these ideas. This comes in handy when we talk about emotions.
So often in an emotional situation, I feel overwhelmed. Several different sensations run through my head and heart at the same time. Often I don't stop to reflect about these sensations until later, at which time the emotion may be lost. But, sometimes when I read, a situation in a book is able to bring up my past emotions. And, with the very best writers, I am helped by the reading because I can suddenly understand my own emotions through words I may not have had before. The language helps me to frame my own emotions in a way that allows me to understand them better.
When I used to work with language in my own writing, I would try to come up with a unique way of stating something. Now, I think it's not about finding simply a unique way, but it's about finding a more accurate way of expressing ideas than other people may have done in the past. Just as the Eskimos have multiple words for snow, each one representing something different, I think writers should create different words for distinct emotions. How many types of sadnesses are there? How many happinesses and angers and melancholies?
Have you written or read an expression of emotion that you had never seen captured before?