How are your wrists doing? I hope you’re being careful and using the pointers I gave you in Lesson #1…ergonomic helps, wrist flapping…and if all else fails, a good phlegm filled spit to your wrist. Keep “carp in tunnel” away so you are ready to WOW the WORLD with your writing—or at least, yourself.
Today’s lesson deals with CHAOS! (Drumroll please…Dum, dum, dum!)
If you want to enjoy writing, you must be willing to pass through the portal of rules into the groovy world of chaos! Let me explain before you roll your eyes and click to Facebook to see who’s put up another picture of themselves in front of a mirror.
To ENJOY writing, you must learn to free yourself of all preconceived notions. You must put out of your head all the rules your 8th grade teacher drilled into you about thesis statement and how many sentences in a paragraph and blah, blah, blah. I won’t bore you. But just flush that junk out of your head. Don’t disregard it forever (you will come back to it later), but for now, LET CHAOS REIGN!
Allow yourself to be free—completely, entirely, fully, wholly, totally, absolutely (you get the picture? I love the Synonym button on Word; it is my friend). Freewriting is when you forget about everything you’ve ever learned and just unleash the power of your pen—or your mighty fingers upon the keyboard—in concentrated, unadulterated free thought. There are no rules, no critics and no time or word constraints.
Basically, you just let your mind roam free on the paper or computer screen range. Just like cows, mostly a lot of crap is left behind…but it feels so good to just do what you want, and some of those prairie cakes or buffalo chips, when left to dry in the winds of time, actually end up becoming useful pieces of fuel to feed the fires of your creativity later on.
Writing is self-discovery. If you are writing and not discovering more about you and your world…you ain’t really writing. And yes, I just said ain’t…because I can. I’m being wild and free and letting chaos reign. I won the 8th grade English student of the year and had to endure my mom’s chiding remarks after that every time I used poor grammar. I’m a rebel. Get over it!
To wrap up this lesson, basically just picture a herd of cattle on the range—or better yet, a herd of buffalo. They move wherever they darn well want and don’t care what anyone else wants them to do. (I once was behind a herd of buffalo in Yellowstone and it took hours to move along at their slow plodding pace; they didn’t care that we wanted to get to Old Faithful before dark). That’s what you have to do when you freewrite. Let your imagination go wild and write about whatever comes off the top of your head and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks (the buffalo don’t!). Just meander all over the page and leave your intellectual droppings everywhere.
Later, when they’ve had time to dry—because I imagine wet buffalo chips aren’t so kosher—go back through your chaotic pile of droppings and see if there are tidbits of insight. It is truly exciting when you find that piece of gold among all the manure! FREEWRITING—or letting chaos reign—is a valuable tool to get ideas. Try it. You’ll like it!