Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Writing from a Place of Anger

One of the amazing sessions I attended at NCTE included Laurie Halse Anderson on a panel with Jason Reynolds and Patricia Hruby Powell.

I don't remember what the question posed to the authors was, but I can't forget Laurie's answer. She said, "The angrier I am, the better the book."

Anger inspires her. And that got me thinking about what inspires me, and about my relationship with anger.  Because anger is not generally a source of inspiration for me. I'm kind of scared of anger... yet aren't we supposed to write what scares us? What would happen to my writing if I allowed anger to fuel it? Where would my stories and words take me?

I want to be a brave writer. I also want to write what brings me pleasure - to write from a place of love and celebration. Where is that place where bravery and love meet?

All of a sudden I am thinking of Katniss Everdeen when she shoots the arrow at the gamemakers. They're ignoring her, and she's mad, she turns the arrow on them.

That's the kind of anger that has the power to change a life. Thank you, Laurie, for making me think!


  1. I think we are a lot alike, raised in the South? Repressing anger? I am scared of anger, too. It usually puts me in a place where I get in trouble. Maybe if we turn anger into a character, she'd be easier to deal with.

  2. I love Laurie's answer, and I love the question you also raise: Where is that place where bravery and love meet? I don't think of writing from anger, but there's something like it, a sense of justice, that I want the girls and women I write about in the world, known as they deserve, and companions to we the living. I guess there's some anger in that!


Your thoughts?