All writers have a process that allows them to create. However, the art of "Writing" is often mistaken for that "Process." Hopefully this blog explains the difference, and inspires people to develop their crafts, become writers, or just keep on writing.

Monday, April 3, 2023

What Really Infuriates Me Is Something Worth Writing About

Even though this is the first official post of National Poetry Month, I will not make heavy poetry references. Technically, I prompted everyone to start doing the poetry month celebration in my last post, It's That Time of Year! that got everything rolling. This time I am going to head a little different direction, but if it leads back to poetry, well, then so be it.

This time around, I am talking about one of the most primal feelings: Anger. At some point in our lives, and probably more so recently, we have all been in touch with some kind of anger, or one of its cousin - rage, fury, and so on. Often we are told that these are dangerous emotions and will lead to no good, and there's definitely some truth to that. However, today I decided that rage, fury, anger, and that whole tribe has a place in our writing (even poetry), and that at times, we should embrace these darker feelings. With certain qualifiers, of course.

Before getting too alarmed about this, let's keep in mind that writing, like any other creative process, is an emotional adventure. When we write, we explore our emotions and convert them into thoughts, words, and stories. We usually explore the emotions that are easy to manage and process. The nice feelings - happiness, joy, love - are easy to turn into writing because we love immersing ourselves in those emotions. However, as we head along the emotional spectrum toward the darker shades, we might hesitate to explore those hues. They are scary. They are dangerous. Wrapping ourselves up in rage might not be the healthiest choice. However, we can do it, and often, we should do it. Just do it with certain precautions.

Someone once talked about love as something that fills you and drains you simultaneously. That's some heavy stuff that I totally agree with. However, when we deal with anger, rage, etc., we don't necessarily want to be dominated by that feeling. Rather, we do our best writing when we visit that emotion through memories of when we experienced it, and become an intimate observer to the episode. The closer we get, the more we can be driven by the sensation, but we should keep ourselves from total immersion, from being filled and emptied by the sensation and left only knowing that feeling. 

When I need to get in touch with some anger, I have a few memories to tap into, but I recall them in third-person, placing myself as a fly on the wall, witnessing a particular episode where my anger boiled over. I think about the moment but try to observe the way I responded, the actions I took, the way I expressed myself, and let those bits of information fill my writing without me entering the moment entirely. 

There are plenty of emotions and memories we don't like touching - even the most in-depth writers have some moments in their past that feel as dangerous as the third rail as far as we're concerned. Those, however, will also have the greatest influence on our writing if we can, even for just a moment, get close to the feelings attached to those memories. It's a daring endeavor, but if it helps the writing process, it can even become a cathartic way of processing our own personal darkness.

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