Day 19 – Today is a free writing day. Write at least four-hundred words, and once you start typing, don’t stop. No self-editing, no trash-talking, and no second guessing: just go. Bonus points if you tackle an idea you’ve been playing with but think is too silly to post about.
I like boxes. They make things organised. They help you focus. They can be pretty.
I didn’t like today’s so called ‘prompt’ because it didn’t give me a box.
Write a letter about this. This is a box.
Write a fiction about that. This is a box.
Contrast two items. This is also a box.
Free writing four hundred words. This is not a box.
There are no edges. No guidelines. No boundaries.
Free writing four hundred words is like being placed in a tinny and dropped from a helicopter into the Pacific. (My first thought was Atlantic, but the Atlantic is so cold that my mind changed location on me as my fingers were tying)
I was never any good at ‘free writing’ at school. By the time I’d figured out what I wanted to write about, the time for ‘free writing’ was over.
Now I have done free writing, and I know it is a fantastic exercise, it really opens up the inner recesses of your mind, releasing things you didn’t know you had hidden away in there. (Though, some of those things should really stay hidden).
Knowing it is a good exercise doesn’t mean I have to like it. Kind of like knowing Brussell sprouts and eggplant are good for me. It doesn’t mean I like them either. (But don’t worry, I like broccoli so I think that makes it even.)
I like boxes, and guidelines, and rules. It creates a goal, and a goal can be worked towards. There is no goal in a tinny floating out on the expanse of an ocean. No shoreline, no landmarks, no icebergs (just for fun since we moved to the Pacific at the last moment.)
I like card making. But I haven’t made one in over a year. I haven’t done one in so long because I don’t have someone or an event to make a card for.
Can you make me a card for valentine? My boyfriend’s nickname is ‘Peppy’. Sure, one ‘Pepe Le Pew’ valentine card coming right up.
Can you make me a card for Father’s day? Dad is into motorbikes. Sure, one biker card coming right up.
Can you make me a card for a friend who’s mother passed away? Sure, now where did I put my ‘lily’ stickers. Yep, there we are. One sympathy card coming right up.
To sit at the table with stock at my fingertips and no goal – well, I can sit there for hours but no card will be made. Because I have no goal, no guidelines, no boundaries – no box.
Oh, look at that. I’ve gone over the four hundred word count.
Challenge over. Thank goodness for that.