Thursday, July 23, 2009
I love to write. That isn't to say that I often write, or even that I excel. I just love it when I begin to type and stuff just starts to come out and flow onto the screen. I was introduced to something called free writing in my college career. How liberating! The way you start is... just start! Just scribble or type about whatever you may be thinking on. Write about the way the icing looked on the cupcake you just ate - how it was piped on with a pastry tip and had little colored sugar flowers stuck here and there. Write about those little white-blond hairs that grow at your niece's temples - how fine and pure they are. Write about the walk you took yesterday, and how you got to thinking about the piece of grass you plucked and the way the tender new baby grass leaves grow up through the tough outer layers. Maybe you're thinking about the way your heart jumped when you watched that skinny cowboy at the rodeo fall off the bull last Saturday. Just lay it all out. The point is to get down the thoughts, whatever crawls across your consciousness at that moment. The time to pare it down and cut out the unnecessary stuff is later. Once you've exhausted the flow of thoughts, you can put it down and come back later. You've got this big messy chunk of stuff and it might hold something really wonderful! Read through and latch onto something that really shines. Maybe you really like the way your thoughts came out about the walk you took. Cut, paste, backspace, whatever you need to do - until you've got something coherent. Add to it if needed. It's your stuff, and you may not have even thought to write about that walk if you had sat down and forced yourself only to write on the subject of _____ in three paragraphs or less. Get all the stuff tumbled out onto the page. Let it live and breathe and give it a chance before you subconsciously whack it. It's great fun.