Mad-Hatted Mischief


Ranting, raving and the art of the angry word-purge…
By Elizabeth Cutright

Love it or hate it, one of the biggest opportunities provided by the Internet is the ability to rant (or rave, though that seems to happen less often) to a larger, theoretical audience.  In real life, when you spout off, pontificate or soap box, you run the risk of triggering a real-time response from someone standing right in front of you.  There’s a chance you could alienate real friends and tangible acquaintances.

So what do you do when it’s too risky to yell in public (even pouting is not without its ramifications)?  Well, you take to the ever-loving interwebs, of course.  Online, you can safely face-off against the mindless masses, the anonymous preachers, the cyber-bossy-betty’s.

Online, your audience is only limited by your bandwidth

But sometimes, just when you’re prepared to take down a trolling commentator or other various troglodytes, the comments streams overwhelms you.  Could all these people really believe the idiotic things they’re writing?  Could there really be this many racist, homophobe misogynist ass-wipes in the world?

Are we all doomed??

Do not despair my little aspiring creatives – all that confusion and deepening sense of doom can be wrestled into something meaningful.

Writing-while-mad is sometimes the best instigator of creative output, once you let go of the reigns and let the angry take you where you need to go.

There’s a different rhythm and cadence to your words when they come from a place of passionate fury.  When your grievances boil up to a breaking point, it’s easy to unleash adjectives, letters and punctuation marks (Bang! Boom! Zing*&##!!)  Zealous prose is fueled by fury, wrath and righteous resentment.

Take all that negative energy and turn it in a more positive direction by writing it all out.  Anger can get you to the page and after a few whiny paragraphs, you will more likely than not find yourself knee deep in something a little more thoughtful, a little more insightful, than you might have initially anticipated.

Maybe you’ll get to the crux of the story – that motivating factor you’ve been trying to excavate while your well-rounded characters wander around the landscape in search of a plot.  Maybe through those tears of rage, you’ll see a light emerging – that proverbial beacon at the end of the long dark tunnel – and you’ll change course and head in confidently in a better direction.  Maybe you’ll bang out a paragraph, a page or a chapter fueled on nothing but irritation stoked by righteous disbelief.
Perhaps your anger is a responsibility – a scratchy bug-bite road post alerting you to the importance of what you have to say to the world.  Think of Martin Luther nailing those demands on the stout wooden doors of the powers-that-be.  Think of Martin Luther King Jr energizing a nation and changing the world.  Think of all those folks who decided that they were mad as hell and not only were they not going to take it anymore, they were going to try to engender positive change.

But listen – don’t get intimidated by those examples.  Perhaps you’ve been waylaid today by a petty little annoyance – that “small stuff” we’re all supposed to NOT be sweating.  I get it.  I myself am often irritated by all manner of injustices of varying proportion and importance.
Today my anger is directed at events writ large on the world stage and etched out in tiny relief between my cubicle walls.  I could’ve sat and stewed about it all.  I could’ve posted a scathing Facebook update (“that’ll show ‘em!”), or composed a withering tweet heavy with destructive force and a “oh no you didn’t” reverb.

Instead I came to the page.  I wrote a couple/few hundred words about what’s up with me and where I’m at, and I came away with a blog post.  Maybe later I’ll step off this leg up and write something with a little more power and a little more influence.  Could be I’ll just file this away and move on to bigger and (hopefully) better things.

Nevertheless, I should give a slight little nod of appreciation to my anger.  It got me here, and now maybe it’ll inspire you to get to where you need to be.

Still need to unleash an online rant – Buzzfeed’s got ya covered (

  • Anger! (

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