To get started, let’s loosen up. Let’s unlock the mind. Today, take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write.
This is impossible. I have to think about what I’m going to write. One doesn’t just slap random keys without thinking. That’s just pretending to type; like you do when you’re six. suddklvp;elg[w[938jm
It’s hard not to backspace and edit. I can’t do it. I can’t write without pausing to think. Wait, yes I can. I did it in class.
It was an adult writing class at the elementary school. We were given two prompts to choose from, then we wrote for 20 minutes without stopping. We wrote the old fashioned way, with pens in journals. No backspacing. I scribbled out revisions. Nobody’s looking. Most of the time I liked what I’d written. I was surprised by what came out.
When time was up, we read aloud what we’d written. When I read aloud, I felt that lump you get in your throat when you’re about to cry. I struggled to keep the tears behind my eyeballs. I was so embarrassed. I apologized to the listeners. I didn’t know why I was all choked up. It’s not like I was writing something deeply moving or personal. I could’ve been writing about rocks or cats or kitchens; it didn’t matter. It’s hard for me to read my writing aloud. That’s what I learned from that class. It’s hard for me to share my writing with people I can see. Or people who can see me. I used to hide my journal, then tear it up lest I die and someone find it. I used to write, always thinking in the back of my mind, what if Soandso reads this? I’m not sure why. Maybe I think they’ll see inside and they’ll see too much. They won’t understand. Maybe I’m protecting myself, curled up like a sow bug.
Has it been twenty minutes? Are we almost there yet?
Road trips. The kids used to ask that.
Are we almost there yet?
Mr. Raven always said Just about another 20 minutes. No matter how far we had yet to go.