I’ve been angry for a long time. I’m turning 40 in a few months and I feel like I’ve been getting progressively angrier and angrier since at least my mid-thirties. And I’ve been trying very hard to find productive ways to use that anger because, honestly, it just feels BAD to carry that impotent anger around.
When Cory Doctorow was our teacher in Clarion, in my one on one he gave me one of the pieces of advice that I will carry with me for a long time. He talked about a memory Neil Gaiman has of Terry Pratchett. In it, Gaiman talks about how anger powers so much of Terry Pratchett did and continued to do at the time. He put that fury into his work and honed it and used it to make the work that he did. And Cory told me not to be afraid of my own fury, and to use it to my benefit.
I’ve been thinking about that advice a lot since Clarion. It powered a lot of the version of The Scale of Defiance that I finally sent to Crystal. The trouble is, I sort of lucked into that anger with Scale. I’m still figuring out how to be intentional about using that anger and how to plan it into a project. I’m not sure that it’s there in Path. I hope that I’ll find it in the revisions.
Other people’s anger has been such a force for good. The #metoo movement was built out of anger. So, to my knowledge was Black Lives Matter. It’s a powerful driver in organizing for change. So obviously not only Terry Pratchett and Cory Doctorow have realized what an important thing it is. And a lot of people are better at using it than I am.
But I am learning.