Writing 101 Free WritingPosted: September 15, 2014
The first or pre-assignment is to write anything for 20 minutes, so I set the timer on my iPhone. Now I wonder if the twenty minutes will go fast, or if the time will seem interminably long. To free associate what is in my mind may just be an exercise in writing a lot of nonsense: disconnected thoughts, fragments of dreams or nightmares, lists of things I need to do, rambling for the sake of writing.
I remember in some classes when I had to write essays on subjects I really didn’t remember that much about. I would just fill in with a lot of rambling; sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.
So, what has been on my mind lately? First, today is the beginning of the twenty-one day media fast I am participating in. In my case, since I am not into much in the way of media, that means no FB and no DramaFever, no DVD’s plugged into my computer or checking out what’s on Hulu +. The DramaFever is probably the hardest for the moment, as I’m in the middle of a fairly exciting, though predictable, historical drama. FaceBook I can take or leave for the most part, although being so far from so many loved ones, it has been a way of keeping in touch, albeit rather unsatisfactory. I’m a face to face person; I’m not even much for phone calls. However, I do like texting, most of the time. Disabling auto-correct means that every text I write is an exercise in punctiliousness….I think that’s the word I mean….At 66, I find that I’m losing some of my words…..they float around in the air just out of reach of my mind, so my language is not nearly as clear and concise as it used to be.
Another thing on my mind is the sermon I heard on Thursday evening at a revival here in Chandler, IN. The pastor used the story of Elijah running in fear from Jezebel and having an encounter with God in the “still, small voice,” to talk about spots. He listed four kinds of spots, and the kind that convicted me were the “blind spots.” Those are the areas where I see other foibles and sins more clearly than my own, where I ignore those things about myself that I would rather not see. Having come to IN to work on my spiritual life as well as to help care for my grandchildren, I was struck by how much time I have already wasted, how much time I’ve filled with reading, browsing, and watching, instead of examining myself and my relationship with God and seeking to go deeper. Thus the invitation to the media fast came at an opportune time; it is a chance to detach myself from a few things that take some of my time and to consciously replace them with others, like writing, which I’ve neglected, and praying, and going through old journals to process them with God. That these classes started on the same day is not a coincidence; it is a further nudge for me to get about the business I need to be doing, rather than the busyness I am comfortable doing.
I just checked the phone timer and I have about three more minutes. I hesitate to read over this, because I will want to correct or delete it. I never thought I would get used to writing on a computer. Previously, in the golden age of typewriters, I would hand write out my papers and do a lot of crossing and inserting; the final versions were the ones I typed over. All my old journals were handwritten as well, but I have gotten more accustomed to using my phone as a journal.
Okay, time’s up! Now for today’s actual first assignment….