Writing From a Place of Anger

I’ve been pissed off at the world lately. Each day brings a new outrage, a new soul-crushing horror, and while I wouldn’t say it’s directly harming my capacity to write, it is having an effect on how I want to write. Emotions – the writer’s emotions – transfer onto the page. They kind of have to, right? If we’re to be writing in a genuine voice, then some aspect of our emotional sphere is going to show up in what we write.

(grumble grumble)

Now, typically, I have written from a relatively calm emotional state. If I’m too upset, I can’t concentrate on the words. But the flares of anger of late have dulled into glowing hot coals that just simmer there, deep inside me. I should note that none of this anger is directed towards my friends or family or coworkers or students – this is a broader kind of rage, targeted at the political sphere more than anywhere else. Venting my rage, then, at the people around me could never be justified – they have done nothing and do not deserve it. Also, of course, venting into the Void (i.e. Twitter) is hardly cathartic and certainly not constructive.

The outlet remaining to me is my writing.

I am no fan of angry political screeds thinly veiled as fiction. I find those things generally tedious. But, of course, I am nevertheless tempted to vent my frustrations at the world in some kind of story, anyway. This story would be ugly and unkind, I have no doubt. It wouldn’t really be the kind of story I want to be a part of. But it’s still there, gnawing at the edge of my imagination. Write me, it growls, let me out.

I don’t, though. Because I’m not ready yet. Anger, you see, isn’t enough. You can’t write a story that’s nothing but anger and expect it to work. Not enough range for a novel, too crass for a screenplay, and too on the nose for a short. I need something else. I need the hope that tempers the anger, I need the calm rational voice to make the story more than just a primal scream of rage. I need the voice of civilization.

I’m still trying to find it. I guess that means I’m still too angry.

Or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I should just let loose.


About aahabershaw

Writer, teacher, gaming enthusiast, and storyteller. I write stories, novels, and occasional rants.

Posted on February 16, 2018, in Critiques, Theories, and Random Thoughts and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. nanette habershaw

    As an artist ,I too feel anger from the horrors of the news.it too effects my paintings .During times of anger or grief, I paint angry paintings they look like a disturbed person .Lots of times I didn’t want to keep or sell these type of paintings .I like feeling of sport or joy in my art work .Ive decided if I’m doing art I do not listen to the news that often once a day to know what’s going on but the repeated watching listening to it wears the artist down . Artist are very emotional people we have access to our emotions more than most . I must choose when and how I want to work . If you want that anger fine watch news again and again but if you are at a different place in your writing guard your self from the onslaught of too much media reports of news. It’s what you want to write about that counts . At times you my take a side and write down your emotions about a particular report .than put aside over to pick up later do not stew about it stop watching and go back to what you were working on .its tough but your creative flow will be more in your control . This is why when your brother was sick or I’m sick I do not paint .I wait until I’m back in my joy state .Now many artist say true raw emotions are your greatest art .So write down thoughts and move back to what your working on and look at notes later to pick up that emotion again if you want to address that . Just my feeling on terrible things happening lately . They do interrupt the creative flow . Listen less .

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. I would try just writing it down, getting it out. It might not yield anything but some passionately angry scenes for your next work, but just getting it out will probably help.

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