We spend alot of time at Magically Real telling stories or talking about amazing other artists. But what happens if we feel sorta shy about making art — be it words, pictures, games, installations, collages, or heaven help us, a cake? What do you do when you feel stuck as an artist or bad as an artist or maybe like you don’t even get to CALL yourself an artist? You start with writing — you start with the freewrite. I’ve been doing them for years and years now. and they keep me connected to how I’m feeling, and they get OUT of my system what’s bothering me. So here’s Peter Elbow on how to do it and why to do it. Cheers and keep on righting. Happy Easter!
the german big 10 (or 9 or 8 [or 12 or 20])
Here is how writer and writing teacher Peter Elbow explains freewriting exercise and why it’s valuable.:
“The idea is simply to write for ten minutes (later on, perhaps fifteen or twenty). Don’t stop for anything. Go quickly without rushing. Never stop to look back, to cross something out, to wonder how to spell something, to wonder what word or thought to use, or to think about what you are doing. If you can’t think of a word or a spelling, just use a squiggle or else write “I can’t think what to say, I can’t think what to say” as many times as you want; or repeat the last word you wrote over and over again; or anything else. The only requirement is that you never stop. . . .
Freewriting may seem crazy but actually it makes simple sense. Think of the difference between speaking and writing. Writing…
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I am definitely more of a Calvinist (the one above) when it comes to writing. I will revise and revise and revise until no one, not even I, understand what’s been written. When someone asks me to freewrite I usually just sit there, rationalizing that nothing I could write would be good enough. I know, I know…
Thanks, Joe. I understand. I think, however, it’s important for some of us to get “it” out, whatever “it” is. Aimee Bender said something powerful the first class I took with her, and that was “perhaps the less you work for it, the better it is, sometimes.” This was liberating to me, personally, because it meant I didn’t have to struggle to pretend to be a genius. I could just let out whatever was inside me to let out, and what it was, it was, and that could be enough. I think that every artist has to find her or his truth in this, but that was and continues to be, mine.