You might have heard the phrase ‘writing practice’ or ‘morning pages’ somewhere if you’re interested in writing or are writing. Doing this creative writing course we have been encouraged to do writing practice, which is usually journaling for any length of time in a notebook, maybe just three pages or however long it takes to get things out of your system or follow a trail of thought. Writing practice is sometimes called freewriting, although its not the same thing to some people; writing practice is more of a journal thing whilst freewriting is keeping your pen moving or typing as fast as you can without stopping to edit or changing anything. For me, writing practice takes the form of writing in my journal or writer’s notebook. I hadn’t considered freewriting for a while; thats my inner laziness sprouting up again.
I discovered this website by chance where you write 750 words a day and don’t need to stop to scroll down as it automatically scrolls for you and keeps track of your words. 750 words is roughly three pages – the amount recommended for morning pages. Mostly it just feels freeing to write and not be concerned about how good it is, it feels good to let everything out. You can go as fast or as slow as you like, but it helps to keep writing on track and is something that reminds you to write – by sending you email alerts if you sign up for them. It is something I’m looking forward to using over the coming months because I won’t have the security of working to tight deadlines for University any longer. I have my last EMA to hand in next Thursday, two chapters of my novel to hand in. I’m already behind in doing that, but I’ve managed to write 2000 odd words already. Its meant to be 4000 plus a 1000 word commentary on the process of doing the work and the editing process. So its going to be an intense few days.
What feels strange to me is editing these chapters without having written the rest of the book yet. I’m a little frightened that I won’t keep going but I’ve signed up for a group related to the Open Uni where everyone is going to attempt to write a book by next May. Or at least get as far as we possibly can! Its important to have support as a writer – it is definitely isolating and solitary, but its good to share tips and information with other writers. It helps to have people spurring you on and motivating you, people who care because they’re doing the same thing. I find it painful to write a story or chapters because writing is a physical thing and it feels like opening a vein and exposing something. Even if you’re not aware of it at the time, what you write is both intensely personal and yet it is separate to you. This is possibly what the painful thing is – having to learn to let go and treat that work as something separate from you even when you’ve spent hours pouring your heart into it.
I know I’ve been neglecting this blog, mostly because of all the things that have been happening in my life and the lives of those around me. I also haven’t felt as much motivation or need to blog recently, even though I feel guilt that people might be coming here and expecting me to have written something new. Blogging is a contradiction – it starts as a place where we express ourselves and share things we might not share with strangers if we met them face to face; yet as time goes on, it feels like you want to draw inwards and keep some privacy. I’ve been seriously thinking about closing down my facebook account in the last few days but all my friends are there and it feel as though email has almost become obsolete. Just as handwritten letters seem to have become obsolete, which is sad.
I’m considering setting up a writing group for deaf writers, because I think it would be a positive thing and might get more people writing. I’ve also been thinking about setting up a deaf book group because I can’t access hearing book groups very well – they don’t tend to be accessible when everyone is discussing a book. I love reading so much and want to share it with other people. Its exciting talking about what a book means to you and how it has changed you or not changed you; the power of words is something worth sharing. There are many things I want to do and think about in the next few months. I have to think about where I’m going next, and what my next steps will be after doing this diploma. I’ve got lots of projects to get on with, but I’m also concerned about money and how uncertain it is at the moment. Money always threatens to bring the world crumbling down, even if its relatively stable.
Anyway, that website is 750 Words and if you’re interested in reading about Writing Practice or Freewriting then there are several books that have inspired me:
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
Wild Mind by Natalie Goldberg
Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande
A Writer’s Workbook: Daily Exercises for the Writing Life by Caroline Sharp.
Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open. – Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones.
Image from Tumblr.