Writing Exercise #1: Keep a journal. It always seemed strange to me that people would want to record their internal monologues. It makes real what otherwise only exists between you and god. Stranger still to want to put out into the public sphere one’s internal musings. Today’s assignment: freewriting.
Online freewriting in particular seems a bold and pointless endeavor all at once. We are supposed to stream our consciousness; just vomit out thoughts without time to filter and remove objectionable, embarrassing, even prurient notions, before it’s splattered out for consumption, psychoanalysis, and inevitably, ridicule. We are instructed to banish the critic from our minds and write without restraint. Since I just edited this and corrected a bunch of typos, I must be doing it wrong. But, ultimately, I guess the point is to put something tangible down on “paper” and see what comes out when you lift the limiter and open up the word throttle.
Why put this on a blog in the first place? Why do people do this? Is it some form of arrogance or narcissism? People want others to take notice of them. But really, are we saying something worth listening to? Probably not. But maybe. Maybe it’s hope. We’re hoping that maybe we really are geniuses and somebody out there in the ether will let us know. That hope will encourage us to self-improve and do what we set out to do. Get creative. Be a better writer. Here, expectations are low. But I’m already disappointed.