So, “free-writing”, three minutes in which to write your stream of consciousness in reference to a given topic. Don’t stop, and if you do, then keep repeating the last thing you wrote until you write some more. Don’t correct yourself (oops!) and don’t worry about punctuation (ah, sorry). Anyway, I did as I was told. I turned off my laptop and started writing by hand—I can’t believe how bad my handwriting is these days—I had my iPad doing the timing, so I ran a little over the three minutes each time, but I figure that’s not a real problem. Anyway, I’ve typed up the hand-written stuff for legibility and posted scanned copies of the originals, so you know I wasn’t cheating, and you know, it was fun…
Mrs. Jackson’s class at primary school. Wormholt Park class 1, looking out on the playground. Don’t know what I was writing. Stephen Bullard sitting opposite me, wiping his nose on his sleeve. Writing in a red exercise book. Superman lunchbox on the desk. Full of pens and pencils. I didn’t have a pencil case because mine had been in the shape of a Dachshund and I didn’t like it, so I teased my mum’s Labrador—Jason—with it and he chewed it up.
03:41—wasn’t watching the clock.
Expressing my thoughts. Getting the words right. You can be so much more eloquent on the page. More thoughtful. You can be somebody else almost. You can write characters and have them say and do anything you want. I used to do that. I loved it. Why did I stop? Money & time probably. Money & time probably. I remember not meeting deadlines & a polite meeting that quashed those dreams.
I don’t like getting stuck for wards. I can sit and stare into the middle distance for what seems like ages. Or close my eyes and think, and somebody will say, “Wake up!”
“I’m not asleep!”
Grrr! I WASN’T asleep, but I feel guilty now for stopping to think. I want privacy to write… and I don’t. I want my family about me… and I don’t. I’m a schizophrenic writer—did I spell that right?
Now I’ve got to admit, when my wife read that last entry, she was filled with the urge to reply to the bit about “I WASN’T asleep!” but, since this is my blog, we’ll see if she gets the last word this time.