Every morning I limber up with some “free-writing”. This is an exercise that gets the creative juices flowing and sets me up for the day. It is a discipline that tips its hat in the direction of one cardinal rule: “Just write.” Julia Cameron of “Artists Way” calls this discipline your Morning Pages. It may be gibberish but at least it is words on a page. I like the analogy of the pro photographer who takes thousands of pictures, 5% of which are pure gold; likewise a writer has to write thousands of lines, 5% of which might be worth something as wendym points out in “The Genius Of Being Adequate.”
I like to mix things around. I might use Dr. Wicked’s Write Or Die to write against the clock and produce astronomical word counts in a few minutes. I might write continuously without hesitation, repetition or deviation on whatever pops up on the twitter feed. In fact I find this free writing is a rich matrix for ideas and after just 15 minutes or so could have a couple of new ideas for articles or even a few paragraphs that can be reshaped into something for public consumption.
More recently I have been using my free-writing time to get nostalgic and throw my mind back to what I was doing this time two or three decades ago. This has been very pleasurable and resulted in a couple of fairly unpolished fragments of biographic material.
I had a very happy childhood, populated with all sorts of wonders springing from a lively imagination and a lot of space to play in. This week, on Midsummer’s Eve I found myself indulging in memories of hot June days spent messing about in boats on the river Thames in my early teens.
Midsummer Memories is the fruit of some of this nostalgia – a schoolboy’s take on “Three Men In A Boat”.
Going back even further, you can read The Legend Of Tollypepme – what happens when kids take adults stories seriously.