Writing 101: Unlocking the Mind


Free writing.

Free writing here, for 20 minutes. No, that doesn’t mean that I’m offering my writing, for free, for only 20 minutes. This is a blog, anyone and everyone is free to read my writing, judge my writing, print it up and use it to line their bird cages if they are so inclined. At any time. By free writing for 20 minutes I’m following instructions, taking direction, going back to school in a manner of speaking. Or in a manner of writing I suppose.

Writing 101 starts today and our first assignment: free writing for 20 minutes. Write about anything. Don’t even think about what to write. Just write.

So here I am, typing away, my cracked iPhone to the right of the laptop counting down the minutes and the seconds until this exercise is completed. There’s some pressure there: a ticking clock. Time ticking down until … what? Until I stop writing, look over what I’ve written, make no changes, make no judgment, and publish it on my blog. If I had a following of … well, if I had a following at all perhaps I would pause and consider such action. Consider the intelligence of such an action. Consider publishing, for all my followers to read, a 20 minute, unbridled, stream of consciousness exercise with no purpose, no point, no editing and, perhaps, no value whatsoever. But I have no need to make such considerations. Sure, I have a few “followers,” kind friends and anonymous bloggers who clicked “follow” after reading one of my very few posts. I appreciate them. I appreciate their faith. I appreciate the fact that most if not all of them have likely given up on me, or at least my blog, because I haven’t done much with it. And by saying “I haven’t done much” what I mean is “I haven’t done anything at all.” I’ve thought about doing something. I’ve thought about different posts, essays and articles complex in their hilarity and social insight. Essays and articles that once set down on this digital template would surely change the fate of the world. Or perhaps, at least, change my fate.

I have spent a fair amount of time struggling with ideas or, more specifically, struggling with giving life to the ideas that I have. I have a library of notebooks overflowing with scribbled thoughts and quotes and scenes and questions. And by scribbled I do, in fact, mean scribbled. Much of it is unreadable, indecipherable. Some ideas still have promise, the hint of promise, the possibility of possibility. And there’s something about the taking of the idea and putting it onto paper or onto the screen that is appealing to me – there must be, else why would I have so many books filled with these meager seedlings? Why would I have not one but three blogs. Yes, I believe I have three blogs. There’s this site, there’s a Tumblr site – because it seemed like the thing to do at the time, and there’s a Blogspot site. Each site a neglected child stranded in various ends of the world wide web, each started with hope and promise, each forgotten by their well-meaning but neglectful parent.

It may be too late for me and Blogspot – I fear I have neglected her for too long. She’s bound to be out and about, denying any relation to me at all, wearing too much eye make up and listening to bands that are poorly ripping off The Smiths. As for Tumblr? Well, with all due respect, it’s Tumblr. He doesn’t require much. A couple of funny pictures, some links to someone’s insightful or at least trendy blog, a couple of crazy pet GIF’s, and my Tubmlr site may be able to stand on his own for a while. But as far as this site, a site I signed on because I really thought I’d try focus on some writing, I think I’m going to give it a go. I know I’ve made this promise before, and I won’t blame you for not believing me. But I’m going to really try to use this blog as a platform to take my thoughts and ideas and transform them into something more. A launching pad perhaps? That sounds too bold, too … too … too “get over yourself buddy.” Maybe I can use this site as a nursery or incubator. A place where I can take these ideas and give them a little room to grow. Even if they aren’t quite ready to live in the world on their own as stories or essays or scripts or poems or rants or anything, maybe here I can get into the practice of giving them a chance to thrive.

Look at that, my 20 minutes is over. Truth be told, it’s been over for a couple of minutes. I’m a bit long-winded, in case you haven’t notice. Until next time …