Free Boxes; Writing 101 Challenge – Day 19

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.

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9 thoughts on “Free Boxes; Writing 101 Challenge – Day 19

  1. TP – I thought this was fabulous. I enjoyed the way you jumped around – clearly out of your box. I am a rule-follower from ‘way back, but I loved the free-write. I can’t imagine anyone would want to read it – they’re always so trivial and personal and about my kids (can’t help it). But it’s easy. That fiction yesterday nearly sent me to the wine rack. I enjoyed the heck out of this. I’ll be back to see more. (and yes, liking broccoli does make up for not liking eggplant or brussells (and I promise not to be the person who assures you if you just tried MY brussell sprouts, you would love them.)

    • Ha, ha. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
      The world would be a boring place if we were all talented in the same things. Me, I LOVE writing fiction. It’s a box, how could I not?
      Oh and thanks for the follow. That made me feel special.

    • Maybe not one big box, but many little boxes serves the same purpose. Even if you think outside the square, you must have a square in the first place to be outside of.

  2. There was a time as a child when I liked free drawing and fantasy free writing and as a teen.ager I had problems with argumentative writing because the task wasn´t explained well enough.. But now just like you I prefer clear assignment, and I usually fail massively at open questions in an exam, like for example” write all you know about the U.N.”

    I’m surpised that we so often have imortant things in common and i think that you express them better.

    • I don’t think I express them ‘better’, simply differently. If we all expressed ourselves in the same way, life would be smoother…but it would also be boring.

      • You missed my point, the same kind of things are important for me also, I have just realised that I need to start expressing them, and express them my way with more confidence and pratice expressing things more.

        Put in the same kind of effort that I realise that you do. (On the other hand if I had never thought about writing I wouldn´t have realised that it really means work sometimes.)

  3. […] Free Writing. Yes, I’m not a fan of this one, and I’ll do all of the other ideas first if I can get away with it, but it does have it’s uses and some amazing things come out of it. Set yourself a timer or word limit and just write. No editing, no rewriting, no expecting greatness. Just write. […]

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