Should You Write When You’re Angry?

Growing up, one of our family rules was to calm down down before confronting one another. In other words, not to speak to each other when angry.

That was a good rule because problems were much easier to solve—and feelings less likely to be hurt—when we talked things over and practiced self-control.

However, as an author, I have found that writing when angry has had a dual positive effect.

First of all, on a personal level, it has been an excellent way to vent—to get rid of a lot of negative feelings. (Many of you most likely have heard of the cathartic effect of writing a letter to someone—getting all of the raw emotion out with pen and paper—even though you never intend to send it.)

Secondly, writing when angry can do wonders for your story if you are writing a very emotional scene. All of that energy just flows through your fingers onto the keyboard and fills the computer screen with unbelievable intensity!



I don’t know where they came from, or how they got inside my house, but I have a couple of pesky mosquitoes that have taken up residence in my home office. They may not have planned it that way, but I think they stay around because they see a free meal…

The first day they showed up, uninvited and unannounced, I got eaten up, badly. Within an hour, I had huge welts on my legs, arms, neck, and hands. It wasn’t just exposed skin they were going for, as I recall from past experience, these mosquitos also bit me through my shirt!

The fact was, I needed to work at my computer. It was in my office. And, so were the intruders.

I needed a plan. I needed to be proactive.

I tried the fly-swatter method. They seemed to know I was armed and waiting, so they laid low. It was only after I put the swatter down and started working that they ventured out, again.

If I wanted to get any work done, I had play defense: Type. Swat. Type. Swat.

Finally, I  went down to the corner drugstore and bought insect repellent. I sprayed the air, the carpet, my clothing, and doused all exposed skin.

Finally, I was successful. I repeated this every four hours, making it possible for me to get my work done every day this week.

Proactive. That’s the name of the game.

The same goes for writing. I have found I have to get proactive. I have a writing plan and as long as I stick to it, I can get a lot accomplished.

If  something or someone comes around to disrupt me, like say a phone call from a friend, I end up not being very productive—if I don’t follow the plan I put in place way back in January (no answering the phone or emails between 9:00 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day). And, that hurts.

I have to be proactive: answer emails, start the laundry, straighten up the house—BEFORE 9 a.m. If I do that, the next six hours are productive. If I don’t take charge of my writing life, there are always little mosquitos that buzz around with only one goal in mind: to suck the hours of productivity right out of me!

M-  Mom and Dad (they are older, now, and I need to check on them every day).

O-  opening emails and physical mail.

S-  snacking (the refrigerator and pantry are just a few feet away).

Q-  quiet (every little noise can be a distraction).

U-  up and down (the dog wants out, I need to stretch, change to laundry from the washer to 

      the dryer…)

I-  ideas that pop into my head at the most inopportune times, distracting me from the work at


T-  telephone (a temptation to answer every time it rings…I put it on silent mode).

O-  opportunities (little things that seem to come up every day; seemingly “good” ideas, but 

      really nothing more than distractions in disguise.)

E- energy—lack thereof.

S-  social media. Need I say more????

How do you handle the “mosquitoes” in your life?