Seven Deadly Sins applied to Writing – Wrath

As writers, there’s a lot to get angry about.  That day job you hold down so you can afford having internet, electricity, and the various other things you find help enable the writing process?  Loathsome.  Finding out the document you were so sure you saved, because you know you definitely saved it again before you closed Microsoft word, is gone?  Infuriating.  Going to the fridge to grab that Pepsi you so skillfully hid behind a bunch of weird yogurts with questionable expiration dates, only to discover it’s gone?  Author angry!  Author smash!

I’d like to say there are right and wrong ways to handle such moments of wrath, but given my propensity for long, near-nonsensical strings of expletives at any given time, I feel like I’m not quite in a position to offer such advice.  So I will anyway!  See also: it’s my blog, and I’ll write what I want to.  So there.

The biggest issue with the Wrath of a writer (not the Wrath of Khan) is how writing angry can turn what you had hoped would be good into an utter pile of shit, or you could produce some of your best work.  It’s a huge gamble.  A lot of that comes down to what has a person angry, what they can do about it, and if that anger is something that will end up displaced on some poor, unsuspecting protagonist (spoilers: Sir Tibbles falls down some stairs, is savagely bludgeoned by vikings, and then eaten by a dragon…all because your assclown boss sent you a passive-aggressive e-mail about proper e-mail etiquette).  Sure, you may not intend to turn your romantic-comedy into a horror movie, complete with buckets-of-blood gore, but one thing may very well lead to another.  And another.  And suddenly Mary-Sue’s jaded ex-boyfriend is making all of her possible suitors into tasteful souvenir wallets.  Probably not where you’d originally intended the story to go.

My best solution to when I’m all anger issues and hypothetically punching holes in walls is to just channel it into something I can’t end up hating myself for later.  I’ve done some of my best cleaning and reorganizing when the only other thing I want to do is go Dalek on the general population (Exterminate!  Exterminate!  Pew-pew.).  Or, when that doesn’t seem to help, I always fall back on the best possible option for most problems: just nap it off.  Sure, that isn’t necessarily a fix, but if you somehow manage to wake up angry from an otherwise-refreshing nap, you’ve probably got some deeper issues to consider.  Like being permanently Hulked out instead of reverting to Bruce Banner.


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