Monday, May 10, 2010

Chillin' Chillin' With Anger Anger

May Day 2010 was an unusually warm Saturday in Connecticut. With temps in the hi 80's and the mountain in full bloom, it was a fantastic day to goof off outside and do frivolous things. In my case, the frivolous was writing.

At least, that was the basic plan. I was so confident about doing this, that my initial status update for Facebook reflected (at the time) that accurate statement.

Yeah, right.

The first inkling I had that maybe things weren't going to go right, was when I stopped at Subway for lunch. My intention was to pick up a sub, bring it to the park, and eat it before doing some writing.


When I got in line, it took me less than 30 seconds to realize that this wasn't going to work. A lady was ordering about a half dozen subs, one worker was making the initial set up, another was waiting to put the condiments and veggies on and a third was simply standing at the register bullshitting with the manager.

I left.

Went to Wendy's and after another 15 minutes of aggravation, got my lunch and headed to the park. When I got to the waterfalls, I saw the initial salvo to the outdoor wedding season. One thing that is quite unique to Newington is that during the spring and summer, the waterfall area is used as a backdrop for wedding pictures and weddings on the weekends.

So I turned around and had my lunch in the one area that I absolutely hate going to: the playground. I parked, got out, sat on a wooden guardrail, ate my lunch, and drove off, all in under 5 minutes. And yes, I actually tasted my lunch: double stack cheeseburger, fries, and a diet Coke (yecch).

When I got home, I decided to do my writing sitting in the front yard. I figured the weather and the live video would be conducive to writing a few upcoming blog posts.


After 2 hours, all I had written were four measly paragraphs. Topic of choice? Not sure and we'll leave it at that.


I went back inside and spent about an hour and a half doing a block of editing. When I'd finished, I went back outside to tackle that particular blog post.

No dice. No luck. No hope. No future for you.

However, all was not completely lost. No sir, because all the aggravation I was going through and all of the anger I was experiencing was the perfect fodder for a post.

Namely, writing while angry.

I can churn out a massive amount of schtuff when I'm angry. Some of it pointed, some of it barbed, but all of it spot on.

For a good chunk of April, I was been going through so much turmoil and aggravation at work, that it's a wonder I haven't self destructed. Normally, most of the crap rolls off, but having a control freak micro manager perpetually crashing down on me for the past four years has finally taken its toll. Now couple that with certain behaviors that other co-workers of mine do which get under my skin, and you can get a basic idea on how volatile my writing can become.

Anger is a great emotion to tap into for a writing mechanism, but if you tap into it for too long, you can wind up sounding like a self-centered cheeky little brat.

I honestly believe that this latest tapping of the anger vein won't last as long as the first one, which lasted for about a year and a half, but it will probably last long enough to churn out some pretty unusual posts.


How about you? Is there any kind of emotion that you hate tapping into, simply because you experience the same type of conundrum that I'd just elaborated on?


  1. is hard being funny when you are sad.

  2. I love Diet Coke, but hate waiting in long lines for it (or food.) I'm with you - I would have left, too.

    I try not to let anger fester too long. Life is just too short. But that is one reason I started my blog - I loved the idea of looking and watching for positivity and writing it down.

  3. I don't need the anger as much as I used to. When I first started writing I did most of my writing, especially the poetry, while ticked off, and it added a passion that I needed. I still like to get a bit of angry feeling going when I'm writing battle scenes but I can put myself in the mood these days with just thinking about it.

  4. I usually don't write when I'm upset. Actually,I'm pretty even tempered. Takes a lot to rattle the cage and I'm not sure I have any other emotions I tap into when composing lines.

    Ha. I'm pretty boring, I guess.

  5. I'm sorry you had to deal with all that anger and frustration, but I'm glad you have a way to let some of the steam out so you don't boil over.

    I hate tapping into depression - it seems to feed greedily and lingers far too long.

  6. I'm sorry about your day! I've had days like you should have a bunch of good things coming up now. You know, the universe balances things out.

    Any emotion I hate tapping into...well, let's see. I hate being down, and I hate being angry, because I think they're both unproductive.

  7. Bearman: Most definitely. Very hard to be funny when you're feeling sad. No matter what you come up with, it just doesn't feel right.

    Lynn: It takes a lot to make me step out of line and leave, simply because I know what its like to be on the other side. But if you treat the customer poorly, this is what you get.

    Agree about not letting anger fester. Sometimes though, it's tough not to.

    Charles: I'm very much the same way. That first dose did help me churn out a ton of writing (most of it bad), but now if I need to write something nasty or violent, I simply think about something that got me ticked in the past. My problem now is trying to find a good way to harness it.

    David: Oh I don't know about being boring, but I do agree about not writing while upset. I try to do what Charles does, but the last time I wrote while I was truly upset, I churned out two pages of stuff for my current project that I had to nuke because it destroyed the overall temper of the book.

    Talon: Depression...that's an interesting one to tap into. I can understand not wanting to tap into into it for any lengthy period of time. I'm like that whenever I get a small wave of sadness come over me. Great emotion to tap into for writing, but murder on one's overall well being.

    I'm getting better at decompressing though.

    R.K.: Thanks. I normally try to find the bright side of any situation, but that day, it just seem to come up in one steady swoop.

    Anger can be extremely unproductive if you let it get a good grip on you. Small doses, yes. Large, no.

  8. G: With that much shit in one day, there is no bright side! Don't fault yourself. I hope you have a better day ASAP!

  9. I never fault myself. However, it does seem that as of late I've been sticking my foot in my mouth a little more frequent than I'm comfortable with.

    My better day will probably come on Friday, since I'm working a half day that day.

  10. Worry. If anything is not right with my children or husband, any issue they might be having at school, work, anything preying on their minds distracts me with worry and the words have a hard time making it to the page.

  11. Joanne: Worry has the same effect on me as well. If I'm worried (or stressed) about something, the last thing I want to do is write. It's bad enough that sometimes words don't come easy, I don't need anything to compound the problem too.

  12. Your Subway story reminded me of a time I ordered a milkshake at the counter of a restaurant, and when I took out my money to pay, the teenagers behind the counter were so busy flirting that they totally ignored me. I'd already gotten the milkshake, and since they obviously weren't interested in their customer, I just took it and left. That's the only time I've knowingly stolen food... :)

    As a few others have mentioned, I hate tapping into depression... although it can be a great catalyst for writing. But it does, as you said, present a conundrum, because I don't always want to put that kind of stuff "out there," so I tend to keep it to myself. I could probably write a lot more if I let myself tap into it more often... :)

  13. I've had a hard time writing recently because I have too much on my mind at the moment. A cocktail of worry, leading to depression which leaves me feeling, well emotional.

    When I get like that I can't write because I can't focus my brain on one thing.

    Hope things improve at work mate.

  14. Lisa: I'll tolerate a long wait in line so long as the customer service is good. When its not, I'm gone.

    I think anger is the only emotion that I'll tap into for any length of time. All the others I'll tap into whenever a particular situation calls for it. I think tapping into depression (or sadness) really can bring your writing to another level, although I do agree it can show a certain vulnerability that most people are uncomfortable with.

    Joe: I can sympathize. If I got an abnormal amount of stress going on around me, it usually becomes quite impossible for me to write.

    I can't tell you how many times I've sat down at my computer to work on a story, only to find myself shutting it down a couple of minutes later becaue the family induced stress quotient jumped up to an unacceptable level (my den is located in the basement and my house is one big fat echo chamber).

    As for work, thanks. I seem to go through cycles where either everything is going fine and dandy for months at a time or I'm at the bottom of a hill being buried in a pile of shit.

    I think once the current turmoil associated with the end of the fiscal year blows over, things should be back to normal.

  15. Mama Z: I think that's a running theme here. Most everyone is leaning towards some form of depression or sadness.

    Can be a real tough emotion to both tap into and to let go of. I think I can write some truly interesting stuff if I tap into that particular emotion. But I don't know if I would feel comfortable in writing that way for any extended period of time.

  16. So, yesterday I read your blog and prepared to leave a comment and NOTHING. I had zip. Just sat there staring at this blue square.
    Well, you can see it just needed to perk in my head, since you read my blog. lol Yes, I too can write out of frustration and anger. :)Bea

  17. I think we all can write out of anger and frustration. It's what we do with or how long do we let it sustain that can cause the problems.

    Like I stated, the last time I'd tapped into this particular emotion, it lasted from late 2005 through early 2007.

    Now I just try to tap into when a particular scene for story calls for it or I need to write an exceptionally pointed blog post.

  18. Waterfalls?? Hmm me thinks I need to find this park in Newington for some pictures. I promise I wouldn't intrude on your writing though. hehe RYC: drooling on your screen huh? hehe Well my work here is done then. haha

  19. It's right in the center of town, Mill Pond park. The waterfall is located on the bottom side of the park near the school bus garages.

    It's actually pretty cool because the pond that feeds it is relatively man made. Great place for ducks to congregate.

  20. Worry and stress always quiet my muse. I guess that's why the poetry well is dry for me these days.

  21. It can put a damper on things, that's for sure...does for me from time to time.


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