Saturday, November 28, 2009

New Writing Exercise

I've been trying out new writing exercises to get me going. For years I did the morning pages in a sort of modified way. I would write for ten minutes, non-stop, stream of consciousness writing. I stopped doing this a while ago because I couldn't see the merit of it. Now, I'm trying something new. I'm doing thirty minutes, and I can do one of two things. I can write about a fiction project or I can do an exercise from a book. Currently, I'm going through the exercise suggestions in Janet Burroway's book.

The exercises are great and are helping me to tap into all kinds of things. The last two days, I wrote about the house where I grew up. It took one day to write about the inside, and one about the yard. but all kinds of other stuff is coming up as well. Memories about toys or grandparents or times I got in trouble.

I got kind of excited yesterday because I was writing about doing something naughty when I was around four. It was one of those things where I knew I was doing something wrong, and I knew I was going to be punished for it, but I just couldn't stop myself. That was the first time I remember that conflicted feeling. I was being bad, and I knew it. And it wasn't that I didn't care. I didn't want to be punished, but I couldn't stop.

I was coloring a bird in my color book, and I drew a purple plume on the top of its head. This plume was a vision that had to be expressed no matter what! It left the page of the color book and covered the bedroom's hard wood floor with its purple, curly magnificence. I knew as I was spreading it across the bedroom floor that I was going to get a spanking. But every time I looked at the bird, it seemed to cry to me to complete it.

See? That's good shit. Who knows what other memories or ideas are in there waiting to be tickled out or mined?