The other day Xie was upset. She wanted to go out and blast the world with what was going on. She was either going to go to Facebook or her blog and just let it out. I advised her not to. This is not her story, but a view-point on why I suggested to wait a couple of days.
I’m all for writing on high emotions, but the story she wanted to tell would have been clouded by her anger and frustration. For some stories the high emotion can work. If the tale is about your feelings and what you are going through, writing during that time can be a great stress relief. You are naïve though if you think that you are not being clouded a bit. The story won’t be correct until you do it calmly.
Calm also has it problems depending on the subject. It can make you seem distant. It will be like you are not in touch with what happened. I’ve written a bit with the calm abstraction of things that have happened to me in the past, about my mother, about my son. It depends on the subject.
If you are writing about your own personal views, your moral outrage, or just strong emotions in general – the best time to put the words up are as you are going through them. If you are telling a story that is bigger than those things, it’s best to get calm first you. You then can remove the name calling. The bickering with someone else can be a little abstracted. It will make your writing more coherent without being an attack that you may regret later.
It is hard sometimes. I’ve done my fair share of writing angry. I have written depressed. There are even times I write because it is the only thing I can control and it removes me from world for a brief instant. I will also go through spurts where it is almost an addiction. I enter the mindset that if I don’t get this story out now it will never get out. We all ride an emotional roller coaster and use what ever means we can to cope with that.
There are some methods you should consider when writing something in a public forum. You have to see how you are going to appear by sharing these emotions. These status updates and stories are never going away. Will you come off selfish? Will you state something you don’t really mean because you are in the moment? You have to live with these decisions. You should always question if what you are writing is something you will forever be able to stand by. You should not write it if you can’t.
If you can live with it, then emotion can be a powerful tool. You can learn to avoid any topics that may cause you regret. Once something becomes a trained response you know that you should not get into a high brow discussion about cousin Tommy’s AIDS condition (note that there is no cousin Tommy in my immediate or extended family, just an example.) You can also go on the attack for things that you are passionate about and are at the core of being.
If you are not publishing these things online, write! Write about your feelings. Write about every little detail. Keep a private journal that the world would despise you for if they ever saw it. Then realize the world doesn’t really care – this moment and time is about you and what you are going through. Once you decide to keep a moment private it’s your to exaggerate or exam as much as you want.
I guess this could be summed up – don’t publish online angry without and editor that can make sure you really want to do that.