Some people hug it out. I prefer to write it out.
One of my favorite quotes about writing–perhaps even my very favorite–is from Garrison Keillor: “Nothing bad ever happens to a writer. They just say, ‘It’s an experience,’ and go write about it.”
I tend to live by this. One of the ways I can rationalize away the negativity I feel or experience in life is by finding an appropriate story from the catalog in my head and channeling that emotion toward character development or situation-sketching or out and out fantasies of how I wish I could respond in my real life. I don’t know if this is a writer thing or an INTJ thing (or maybe it’s both), but I am not sure I could function without this kind of coping mechanism. I am by nature a positive, optimistic person, and I don’t like feeling angry or pushed around (sad I generally don’t mind, as long as the reason is something I consider worth grieving). If I can make something useful out of the negative, then it ceases to be a negative drain on my psyche, and I can get over it.
I spent two years being shunned and schemed against by co-workers who didn’t like me, and I found it a useful parallel to the heroine of the novel I am still working on, because she was outcast from “polite society.” This week has finally, after nearly a year, thrown some interpersonal work drama my way again. It’s really bringing me down, in part because it just brings back all the old feelings from the other place, which this job was my escape from. Rationally, I realize I’m overreacting emotionally to this one asshole’s attempts to control their environment, but I can’t help feeling despair and anger and an overwhelming confusion at the fact that this just doesn’t make any fucking sense, and I want to escape. I don’t want to have to wear emotional armor every day again. I don’t want to come home and feel weighed down by a burden of negative energy dumped on me by someone else who is unhappy and insecure and needs either a target or a scapegoat to expunge those emotions from their own mind. Clearly, you have never heard of writing or drinking. My two favorite pasttimes for a reason, bitches.
I suppose I should be glad I’m about ready to start working on the finale of that novel. I should thank Jerkface for giving me the emotional fuel I need to write an angsty “but everyone hates me / who gives a shit what they think” kind of scene. I’d rather just have to fake it, though.
Alas. Such is not my fate. So time to buckle on the ole chestplate again, and at the end of the day I’ll have my squire of a muse scrape off all the shit and put it in a bottle for me to use when I need it.
And in the meantime, Jerkface, go fuck yourself. You have nothing on an entire department of vindictive middle-aged harpies with too much time and too little work.
Write-out done. For today.