Writing Does Writing.
Getting out of our way can be the hardest lesson for a writer to learn. It sounds simple: sit down, write.
Any yet, how often do we sit in front a blank page and stall, do the laundry, vacuum, watch old re-runs, while behind us that pristine page follows us around, and around?
We are often so full of our own editor, of rules taught to us by teachers, that to sit down and ‘just write’ trips over a roadblock of shoulds, coulds and woulds.
To write for the sake of putting pen to paper, to exercise just writing, to fall in love with the joy of the flow of words, this is a present that lies ready to be unwrapped.
Writing Does Writing can be called prompt writing, spontaneous writing, Goldberg’s Wild Mind writing, or just writing.
The rules are basic.
*Write with pen and paper, this engages a different less analytic part of the brain(so studies indicate)
*Keep the hand moving…if there are no words, repeat the last one, write ‘shit’ if you have to, draw doodles, but keep the hand moving.
*Let go of the editor, give him/her/ they a coffee and tell them to sit in another room. There is no need for grammar, spelling, outlines, just keep writing whatever comes.
*Allow yourself to write the first thing that comes to mind, go for the gusto, be free to let go of inhibitions
*give yourself permission to write crap, to push the bounds of freedom
*And above all, don’t throw yourself away. You are worth this time, your writing is worth this time.
You’ll be given a prompt. Just use it to jump off, you don’t have to stick to the prompt. If you start off with red balloons and end up with mountains no worries, great even!
At the end of the writing time those who wish to can read their writing. There will be no crosstalk or comments. Thank you is good enough. Then the next person reads.
Tuesday’s prompts were:
Why I ran away from the circus…
What I didn’t know or what I never knew…
We talked a bit about how to have a daily writing practice, a few tips just to write, even 10 minutes a day.
*pick a line from a book, or poem,
*What is ____- Where is ____Fill in an emotion or action
*Have a list. Maybe use a seesion to write a few down.
What I noticed yesterday.
What I know
What I learned last week
On public transport
A few minutes of free writing/ writing does writing a day, is like exercising. The more you do it the easier it gets, until who knows, you may actually enjoy it J
Then I read
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
We talked about how this made us feel, not think, feel. Not the mechanics of the poem, but the emotion is brought.
Then we wrote from the prompt:
Not tossing yourself away.
Personally, I really enjoyed hearing people reading. It is my favorite part of these workshops. The variety on the theme is always a surprise. I felt inspired to keep this practice going and to give myself the permission to just write and laugh, cry and be astonished.
I want to thank each and every one of you there for jumping in with me, for being so willing to give it a try.
Here is another poem I have been using to jump into Writing does Writing.
I hope you enjoy it!
Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.
How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds
will never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.
Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company always with those who say
“Look!” and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.
– Mary Oliver, Evidence: Poems