|Photo by Rick Campbell|
This morning I failed to capture my dream on paper before it faded from memory, so I went to do a freewrite but found myself reluctant because I didn't know what to write. Followers of the blog will know that this is something that happens to me from time to time. One of my favorite ways to psych myself out of writing is by telling myself I have to know what I want to write before I start writing. Silly.
Anyway, I had a couple sentences floating around in my head, one of which was in response to an email and another I was thinking would be starting place for a freewrite (even if I didn't know what to write), so I started writing the one that was loudest in my head - the email response - and only got a few words into it before the stream of consciousness took over. I'll share the result of that in a moment, but first...
It's true that...
The idea is to set your timer for five or ten or fifteen or twenty minutes, whatever you can afford, write the prompt at the top of the page, and then just keep writing until your timer goes off. If you get stuck and don't know what to write, write "I don't know what to write" until something different - other words, an image, a feeling, whatever - rises up within you and then go with that, and then with whatever comes up next and whatever comes up next, etc. It can be coherent or not. You can use punctuation or not. Just don't let yourself get stuck on the mechanics. And if you write something and it doesn't feel right, don't erase or cross it out, just keep rewriting it in one solid go until it feels better and leaves you alone so you can move onto the next thing.
And now I'm feeling like I'm coming across as bossy/dictatorial, so I just want to say: these are all ideas. Things to try to see if they work for you. Maybe when you try rewriting until it feels right, you just get stuck. Good to know. Then next time maybe try just letting that sentence not feel right and moving on anyway. I share ideas that have worked for me, but everyone's process is going to be different.
So my freewrite today is a good example of letting my mind hop onto different words and images without trying to control where it goes. Only after I was done and reread it did I realize that there are some rhymes in it and a few parts where it takes on a decided rhythm. I always find it interesting to notice that kind of thing after the fact.
It's true that the blinky times went gone away for to heal themselves all drab gray from concreted porches and licked paws wending through deserted streets dear god what is that thing and can you help us upend the bony process we want to eat our tuna and drink our milk in peace everlasting peace like what the frogs have and the birds we want to have waving grasses and still ponds brown with summer heat and cool rooftops at the same time all covered in moss and lichen like a Hobbit house perhaps we want to go back to be part of god's green earth and one of his creatures rather than apart from it all unnatural like steel wire wound around a spool not for catching fishes, sadly no, is for slicing throats don't you know why would a creature invent such a horrible thing at what point in nature does premeditated murder, mass murder and wholesale destruction seem like a good idea worthy of cosmic consideration? some warlike knows no bounds no wonder we are left alone out here on this rock to rot to hack away at festering limbs and tear at flesh with teeth dissolving until there is nothing left of any of us just hope there's still a planet after all that. With dogs. I love the dogs.