Jul. 18th, 2009

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Okay, so. I bought this book in Borders' sale this week and last night, once I'd finished working at home on the clinical specification that was making my head spin, I poured myself a glass of wine and started to browse through it. Moving from the practice of writing that was about the n'th degree of factual accuracy to reading about writing for the love of it was very refreshing. And the book's got some really practical tips in it too.

The first thing that I've decided to do, because if I'm going to try to make a go of writing I really, really need to, is to conquer my perma-editor and shut out the harsh critic whilst I'm writing. And this morning, I think I managed something along those lines. The exercise I chose from the book was to write for five minutes without stopping. It specifically says that you shouldn't lift your pen from the paper, but I can't really do writing longhand any more because it feels unproductive. I know that's probably another bind that I'm tying myself into along with my assertion that I'm incapable of having original ideas, or writing a novel, or any other such defeatist comment, but I'm just defending myself by saying that I'm better able to get my ideas out more easily when I can type at 62 words per minute. When the stream of consciousness is flowing fast, speed is good.

So, having gotten up and faffed around for a bit this morning I sat down, set the timer on my phone for five minutes, and wrote. I was amazed at how quickly the time passed, and when the klaxon [because I thought it was an appropriate signifier that time was up :p] sounded I'd written over 300 words. I stopped capitalising. I stopped correcting myself and editing after about the first four sentences or so. And even though it's mostly drivel and it hurts me almost physically to post it publicly with all its spelling mistakes and grammatical inaccuracies, this is what I wrote:

I have started reading a book on teaching yourself creative writing and it says as one of its first exercises that you should write for five minutes, without stopping, and just see what comes out. So i'm doing that for the first time today. No editing. No stopping. Because I want to see if I can do it. I'm a hopeless self-editor. In fact I'm doing it now. Backspacing to correct my errors as I go instead of letting it come out with the spelling mistakes and all rather than just flowing and seeing wher e it goes. Hah. And now i've stopped doing that. I'm even going to stopwitht eht capitalisation. Take that, inner perfectionist. See how you like them apples.

I even started this morning before I got out of bed planning what I was going to write out in my head. Which I think kinda defeats the object of freewriting andseeing where the mood and the thoughts take you. I had a good idea in there, though. It had something to do with thep people I saw yesterday in the doctors surgery when I went to pick up my prescription all staring at the loudly blaring televission waiting to be called for their appointments. Staring blaring blankly at the klaxon-loud television with a cheeky cockerney chappie from some television soap, eastenders probably, standing on a beach in LA asking people to text in the answer to a multiple choice question in order to win a trip to stand on that very beach looking out over the sea. People in a waiting room in a dreary part of south wales watcing a londoner on the television prancing about on the beach, insulting their intelligence by asking them if the answer to the name of the academy awards was a. oscar b. arthur or c

It was at that point that the stop sound rang and I just ceased mid-sentence as I'd promised myself. No corrections, no completions. Just a stream of consciousness lasting exactly five minutes.

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