Emotion Fueled Writing


Following up with my You Feel Me? post, I think you’ll understand me when I tell you that I am currently sublimating like it’s my job. Some things in my personal life are really…dramatic. And sometimes those things make me angry. I’d like to think, as a pacifist, that I could come up with something more productive than stewing, but sometimes I witness or experience something so unnerving that I ball my fists up and mutter like I’m stricken with Turrets. It looks something like this…

Waaaah! Mother shit, mother cunt, mother fucker asshole dickwad shit eatin' --

I am lucky to be an artist, as I have many creative ways of expressing my, well, less attractive emotions in a productive way. Sometimes I even come up with something beautiful while trying to sort through the chaos. Example: I made this drawing of a baby elephant by scratching the hell out of a black board.

See. Cute, right?

Just because the result is nice and quaint doesn’t mean the process was. I was fuming. Raving to my friends. Trying to come up with my next move. How to best this person who so royally stepped outside the lines of acceptable behavior. “Cunt” kept slipping out of my mouth.

"That's what she said."

Anyway, back to the real point of this post which is to focus of ways to turn negative emotion into positive energy. I’m not here to give you the Top 10 Things To Do When You’re Mad But Don’t Wanna Be, I’m simply saying that we, people as a whole, need to step back from anger, or at least try to channel it into something productive. I’m not some hippie dippy granola eater here, I’m saying this to you as a philosopher whose motto is “it is what it is.” You can’t fight reality, and when you look at the reality it actually seems silly to try to fight it. As Sarah Lawrence Professor Michael Davis put it:

“Descartes is in general most famous as the founder of modern philosophy and in particular as the author of the sentence, “I think; therefore I am.”  Yet, this, his Archimedean fixed point for moving the world, is initially formulated in a negative way.  Descartes cannot deny that he thinks, because even doubting that he thinks is a form of thinking, but that means that our first awareness of ourselves is as doubting (my emphasis), as fundamentally incomplete and imperfect creatures.  Modern science is the edifice built on this foundation, its goal, ‘to render us like masters and possessors of nature.’  Cartesian science, then, must be a response to this awareness of fundamental imperfection, as an attempt of an essentially incomplete creature to render itself whole.  The goal…is autonomy.

            “The desire for autonomy is at the heart of what it means to be human, and yet the desire for autonomy is not autonomy.  It is perhaps a hatred of being ruled.  The obstacle for any project to attain autonomy is that on the one hand no assistance can be received from without…On the other hand, to attain [it] from within means to be [so] already.  For that reason Nietzsche saw the problem, as how one becomes what one is.

            “To become more than you are means necessarily to turn on yourself.  The obstacle to any willing is always what is already present, the given.  When we turn our wills on ourselves what is given with apparent finality is our past.  We are what we are largely because of what we have been.  As it seems impossible to change what we have been, it seems impossible to control what we are (my emphasis).   Autonomy is therefore limited by the past, and so by time, the nature of which is to pass.  Even a turning against the past, attempting to annihilate it, is a sign of dependence on it.  We become enslaved by what we hate. “

Don’t be that guy enslaved by hate.

It's not sexy like Jennifer Lawrence, not sexy at all.

Anyway, what I really mean to say is next time you’re angry pick up a pen instead of raising your voice.

Happy (if, albeit, sometimes frustrated) writing!

Author: hollywouldink

I'm a visual writer and teacher currently getting my MFA in Writing for the Screen & Stage at Northwestern University. Sarah Lawrence undergrad. Writer for movies, TV, theater, and literature.

2 thoughts on “Emotion Fueled Writing

  1. It’s funny I was thinking about anger and anger management yesterday as I saw a post on FB from someone I know saying they wanted to stick a shoe somewhere on the person that honked at them on the blue route. They said there frustration over the Flyers being in the playoffs didn’t just stay in the office, it made them angry everywhere. This made think about a couple of things, if you life revolves around something you hate, how do you get past that. If that hate revolves around a sports team that is in the city you live in, how do you get past that?
    I guess her writing a post about her anger is a start but is it? or is it just raising your voice to a larger audience?

    • Good questions. As to the latter, I think your FB friend was simply venting his/her frustration in a non-productive way. Sure I wanted to shout out to everyone how mad I was and tell them who the culprit was and what they did, but that’s just a mild form of revenge. Retaliation, we’ll say. It’s much harder to stay silent about something that irks you, and deal with it softly and quietly than it is to rant and rave. Not that I’m saying people should stay mum about huge world injustices, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.

      As for how we get past the things that make us angry, I wish I knew a good solution. I try to remember that nothing that we experience as reality really is. It’s more a projection of our inner wants and insecurities. We see things the way we want to see them, so my advice is to try looking at the situation from a different perspective.

      Thanks for your comments, Fred!

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