Lately, my writing process seems to be:
😡 Write angry
🧘♂️ Edit calm
It came to mind as I was remembering the quote often misattributed to Ernest Hemingway:
“Write drunk, edit sober”
He was actually talking about William Faulkner’s drinking habits.
However, the spirit of the statement holds true. I find that the words flow and I’m inspired to write quickly when I’m upset about something.
The passion for an issue helps me get the thoughts out of my head. I’ve learned to unleash the words that reflect how I feel, even when they are entirely too inflammatory to ever publish.
Then, I let the draft sit overnight, or even for a few days. I return to edit it when I’m feeling calm and detached.
I tone down the anger. I remove profanity. I strive to make the article more useful and helpful, instead of letting it become the ranting of a madman.
So, the next time you are feeling upset, frustrated, or angry about some issue, use that passion to fuel your writing. Immediately open your laptop and spill the words out onto the page.
But, resist the urge to unleash your angry masterpiece upon the world. Don’t hit publish.
Let it rest. Let your thoughts marinate in your skull.
Come back to your draft when you’re feeling better, and the anger has passed. Edit it calmly to craft it into something more powerful.