I Don't Want to Rely on Anger: Searching for a New Emotional Anchor

Shipping anchor ship

For the first few years of writing a blog, I had a weekly ritual. I didn't do it every week, but I managed to do it most Sunday mornings. I made coffee and fired up a random iTunes playlist that spanned my entire music collection. I'd then open the blinds on the window next to me so I could see my neighbors heading to one of the many churches. Finally, I'd sit down at my desk to write.

This ritual didn't start out as intentional as I'm making it sound, but it soon became that way. I was aware that I was writing about atheism at the same time almost everyone else was focusing on the opposite. There was something about this that appealed to me. I was usually finished before they returned home.

I lost this ritual for some time, and it seemed like I forgot it ever existed. I scheduled other tasks during this time. I wrote on other days and times, but not usually on Sunday mornings. It seemed like there were more pressing things to do.

I remembered it a few years ago and tried to revive it. It didn't work. It seemed forced. I didn't feel like writing and pushing myself to do so anyway didn't produce anything of value.

What changed? I did. I used to fall into a groove almost every Sunday morning, but it ran its course. I no longer felt that way, at least not on most Sunday mornings. I now try not to write when I'm feeling uninspired.

But I suspect there's more to it than that. One important way I've changed since then is that I am far less angry. Most of those early Sunday mornings were about axe-grinding. Not only did I have something to say, but it was burning to get out. There was something almost compulsive about it.

Since then, I weaned myself off of cable news. I've cut way back on my use of social media. And when I do use social media, I do so with filters to limit the outrage peddling. None of that stuff was good for me, though it did keep those creative fires burning.

The challenge for me now is to learn how to write about similar topics without having to do so from a place of anger. It is not that I don't still get angry. I do, though it is less frequent and much less intense. I'm working on finding a new emotional place in which to anchor my writing.

Image by Tom und Nicki Löschner from Pixabay