Free write for twenty minutes before stopping: Oh, I can free write. Years and years of journals testify to that ability. Some with Post-it tabs at the page edge so I can remember to go back and read some wise and wonderful thing as if it were possible to save the moment’s glory, the half-formed impulse, the wise and wild and wonderful and tuck them into the pages of a tab-covered journal. No problem. My years of journals testify to the ability. The point is, do I ever go back, find the pages of tabs and use that wonderful wise glory and turn it into a poem, essay, or has the moment of inspiration, of spirit, passed so quickly as to be impossible to hold? This may be the same except these impulses will all be saved in the file, the same file, that says 101. And will I go back and read searching for the jewels? Well. These may have the same fate as the years of journals. But I’ll write every day and I’ll see if that moves things into some form. Surely the prompts will change from day to day. I type too fast perhaps although not as fast as some and I expect the post and the sentences will run on for us all in a way we hadn’t expected. For now, there’s no mention we can’t go back and proofread, change, re punctuate, and try stating some impulse differently, gloriously, as if sliding down a slide in a cloud of dust and creating dust angels. Ah yes. Angels that fly in the dust. Now that could be the beginning of a poem. Dust angels. But the impulse to write a poem is lost in the dash into another word another phrase, freewriting for 20 minutes? Has the person who assigned that task ever experienced freewriting for 20 minutes? 10 yes. 5 usually works better for students. But 20 the prompter said so I’ll write. The thing I tell students is that they can write the same thing over and over and over if they want. They can even write this teacher is really stupid I hate this hate this hate thing…. well, you see it’s harder to write the same word over and over again on a keyboard than it is by hand. Then you can scrawl. If scrawling happens with a keyboard, well you end up with something likea[‘f ap]rj[polgnb and where would you be then. Nothing to tab, I can tell you that. At least I’m keeping a sense of humor about the whole thing. Okay. Ten minutes nearly passed. Ten???? Ten more to go? so okay. A thousand word essay on foolishness….. but I also tell my students that it’s when you hit a wall that the mind shifts to the other mind the one with bouquets of honeyed roses and balloons. At least that’s the plan. No honeyed roses yet but at the least I’m writing. I wonder if this works as well as the hand writing does. I guess I could keep a journal with this but there you are again, another journal filled with free writing and see I can even decide if free writing is one word or two. But I go on, following my mind. The thing is, I’m pretty intuitive anyway and so allowing myself freedom to write simply means writing and writing and not getting much of anywhere but more words on the screen. I give myself freedom anyway… and there you are writing freedom twice with an e at the end. At any rate, I often give myself all the freedom I want or need so I’m not sure that this is going to get me very far but it could it could. I write I write I write. I’ve been writing for so many years the pages get tossed into some other wasteland. Wasteland. I think if anything this will be an exercise in wondering. Do I have anything I can say in this amount of time, this twenty minutes. Writing is more important to me than dashed words and ideas. The time to form ideas is what counts. I guess when I post this I can warn readers do not read this unless you are really really bored. There’s that possibility. Reading for boredom. Catchy title, not so catchy a read. Reading to fill the sun-drenched color of an afternoon when you have nothing to do and nowhere to go. Now that could be a plan. Reading for a sun-drenched afternoon. I wonder if this was really what I wanted to do. No. I like plans that arise from free writing. And no plan has arisen. No idea for tomorrow. No gilded lily or even sunny corner. Just words words words. And I do so many of those anyway, this seems a task that doesn’t necessarily lead me to the heart of things. Of course, I guess I could slow down, type less fast, let the impulse rise in me to gather and hold and shine. And if the typing slows, if the words come slower, will the thoughts come clearer, the space more worthwhile, the goal at the end reached? Goal. I like building sentences, that’s what I like in writing, and free writing doesn’t allow me that time and freedome to build. See. There’s that extra e again as if my fingers find their own reason for rebelling against the plan.
Rebelling. Now that’s something I’m really good at.
4 thoughts on “Free-Write: Do not read unless you’re bored…”
What’s that old saying? Writing is like making sausage……?
Yeah, something like that. A lot of sausage in that one….
Thanks for reading it.
Interesting how the mind works, Janet.
When you type, at least you can search for words later to find what you think you wrote, unlike with a handwritten journal.
And like with my freewritten ramblings, you got to the interesting part at the end — the rebellion. Why does it always take 20 minutes of rambling to get to what we need to say?
Thank you, Theresa! I didn’t realize “the point” was rebelling! I guess it’s such a common thing for me to do, I take it for granted or something — hardly newsworthy. Since you are blogging a lot, you may want to try the Writing 101 challenge at WordPress. I don’t know how tired my limited audience is going to be getting so many posts, but we’ll see what happens.