Note: This is not a new post. I’m updating old posts that were taken offline to check for errors. I apologize for the “new post notification” on an old post (it seems notifications cannot be turned off). Of course, you’re always welcome to come by for a revisit or if you missed this one before.
I’ve heard similar advice from several sources: put your pen to the paper or your fingers on the keyboard and just write. Write as fast as you can. Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation or anything. Just write. Fast. The idea is that writing faster makes the creative side of the brain go while the critical side is left in the dust (probably standing there with torn, dirty jeans shaking its fist in fury).
I wasn’t entirely sure what to think of the idea. It sounds pretty good but it’s so hard for me to just let it flow without at least pausing to correct my spelling. I just barely got a grip on Victoria Lynn Schmidt’s technique of “writing as if.” And I’m still working on my discipline with the Morning Pages.
Then, the other day, I came across a post called Liberating Melete: the Muse of Practice by Tracy Hutchinson. The post definitely resonated with my own experience. I struggle with the demon of procrastination, brothers and sisters…along with the vampire of creative flow, premature self-editing (come to think of it, that sounds like a medical condition…maybe they make a nifty little pill for that…I can see the commercial now: “Do you suffer from premature self-editing? Don’t be embarrassed. Lots of writers suffer from this condition. Writon can help. Side effects include…). Did I mention I also suffer from the getting-off-track monster? Wicked creature. Sharp Claws.
Given these challenges to my writing productivity and creative flow, I was delighted by the link Tracy posted. Actually, I was just curious at first, but then I was quickly delighted. The link was to a site called OneWord. In the exercise, you’re given a single word and 60 seconds to write something about it. Tracy called it a “gem” and it is so true. I gave the first word a whirl and found myself quite revved up to write some more afterward. Since then, I’ve gone back again and again. It’s a simple but powerful exercise. I’m definitely going to keep using it.
Here are the posts I’ve made so far:
Basement: Down the dark stairs. Dripping sounds. Canning jars full of who-knows-what. I’ve read too many Stephen King novels to be able to walk down those steps without a cell phone, a flashlight, and a weapon of some sort. But then, how am I going to carry the laundry basket?
Relatives: I have a secret: my relatives are aliens. I’m not sure exactly which planet they come from. It’s a big secret or something. In fact, they won’t even admit they are aliens. I’ve just always known.
Dropped: I dropped the jar of peanut butter on aisle sever. It was glass ( I didn’t think they did that anymore…put peanut butter in glass jars) and it shattered everywhere. No one even looked in my direction. Didn’t they hear it?
Dropped (a second post because I thought there was a glitch with the first…turns out there was no glitch): Did I drop the ball? I thought I posted on this? I must of slipped on the spilt peanut butter and hit my head. Where am I again?
I wonder what the word will be tomorrow.