Overcoming Bloglessness

Writing 101, Day One: Unlock the Mind


Writing 101, Day One: Unlock the Mind.

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.

Twenty Minutes
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.


Author: Susan B Raven

For many years I have suffered from debilitating bloglessness, only writing in my head, while everyone else posted and shared with ease. Previous attempts at recovery have failed, my secret journals edited to death, pages torn out, crumpled and trashed. I will not succumb to this embarassing condition. I will continue to struggle against the rampant backspacing and endless blank staring. I refuse to relapse into the void that is bloglessness. I can do it. I am doing it. I am Overcoming Bloglessness.

4 thoughts on “Writing 101, Day One: Unlock the Mind

  1. suddklvp;elg[w[938jm

    That made me giggle

    This was lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I am signed up for the challenge as well – and have yet to do any of it – but it’s only Day2 – so we’ll see.

    The fear of revealing too much or too little or too intimately. You are not alone Susan, especially when one is carrying secrets (as we all do, of course), but rather, the ones that have wounded and scarred up. And so it goes – we write because we have to, then destroy it lest we be found out. Let me know if you or anyone you know every thinks of a solution?

    I think it becomes a question of just not giving a damn about what others will or will not think – no matter how we create – secrets be damned. But then, one has to be prepared to let the light into the darkest of spaces and places sometimes.

    So I guess – just keep blogging – because I love sharing your world – whatever pieces you offer. They brighten my day — and like Maggie said —- giggles abounding because didn’t we feel so accomplished and proud of ourselves for being able to “write quickly” on the typewriter?

  3. I didn’t sign up anywhere. It was a better prompt, for me, than the Daily Prompt.
    I rather like the free-writing- it’s often better, more me than if I’d taken my time.

    Thank you for the encouragement. I did feel like a real good typer!

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