On Anger And Writing, Ctd

Aug 10 2013 @ 10:19am

Laura Bogart discusses how the emotion informs her writing and life:

In some ways, anger has been my saving grace. The ability to get good and pissed-off at the ways I’ve been mistreated—and not just by my family—is life affirming. The whisper of my roiling blood tells me that I matter, that I don’t deserve what I’m getting (or not getting). My current therapist actually has made a very potent distinction between anger and rage. Anger, she says, is that affirming force. Rage, she says, is a kicked dog that bites the first person that tries to pet her. My work in nonfiction and fiction examines the often hairline difference between the two, which has made me very aware of whether what I’m experiencing is anger or rage. That is to say, whether what I’m feeling is a legitimate reaction to a genuine slight, or just an excuse to bare my teeth.

A perfect example:

So, I’ve moved below a woman with a teenage son, and on occasion, they can get a little loud. I’m a quiet-loving introvert who, if I had my preferences, would live inside a hermetically sealed bubble. My initial reaction to the first bit of dubstep (and why is it that the people with the worst tastes always blare it the loudest?) was to become a human volcano. How dare they intrude on my solitude? Don’t they know I need quiet to write? So I got out my broomstick (if I’d had curlers in my hair and pink fuzzy slippers, my transformation into cranky hausfrau would have been complete) and I banged on the ceiling like I was trying out for a job as a sound effects specialist in the new Thor movie. The woman came down, immediately apologetic, almost tearfully apologetic, and told me that her son was just sharing his new favorite song with her. That’s when I what our lady of Oprah would call a “light bulb” moment: The music hadn’t rattled the cupboards; it had only lasted a moment; and, oh yes, other people have a right to enjoy life in their apartments.

Previous Dish on the subject here.