Why it’s Good to Write Mad

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mad-cat

If you’re struggling with being creatively empty during these dark wintry days, here’s a little something that may help you wake up your writing spirit. Try letting yourself get mad.

I know many others will try to convince you that writing is best done by a quiet, serene lake with no distractions but the birds gently singing in the background. Sorry, doesn’t work for me. In fact, dropped into a scene like that, honestly, I’d probably take a nap. And not much good writing comes out of nap time.

I first realized the amazing connection between being mad and writing during a writing class I once took. I wondered why the professor had us reading a dull collection of academic essays on children and the media. I didn’t understand at the time why we weren’t instead reading books about writing.

But the essays would inevitably lead to heated class discussions, and the childless members of the class would start blaming all of the ills of society on parents who fail to adequately monitor their kid’s TV viewing.

As one of the few parents in that class, those discussions really made me mad. And you know what? That anger energized my writing. I turned out some great, thought-provoking essays in that class, in large part due to the anger I felt over the topics we were discussing.

Writing anything worth reading is all about harnessing emotion. And there’s nothing like getting really mad to get right to your gut, which I believe is where all great writing comes from.

So the next time you’re feeling creatively uninspired, don’t imagine yourself sitting by that serene lake, turn to something that makes you mad.

Here are a few things that make me mad, maybe they’ll work for you too:
• Reading articles about CEO bonuses
• Thinking about my old boss
• Watching Fox News
• My mother-in-law’s terrible re-gifting
• Faceless companies that spam relentlessly
• Reading about publishing industry layoffs
• Trying to accomplish anything with a PC

Next time you’re stuck, remember that getting mad might be just what you need to get writing.

What gets you mad enough to write? Share here!

-Maria Schneider

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flikr photo by Noah Sussman

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