Friday, September 01, 2006

stream of ... something

If I'm really going to write for an entire 30 minutes and if my schedule is important to me, I have to sacrifice much of what is important to a writer in this attempt. You can't spend too much time thinking much less choosing words or sentence structure. You just have to keep your fingers on the keyboard.

On the tight schedule I've given myself, I can't even really choose a topic. I just have to go! I started at 7:15. I have to finish by 7:45. Write write write write! I can't even stop to think about whether you'll be bored by this. Type type type! So here I am type type typing and trying hard not to think about how dumb or boring this is because that's not the point! I'm not trying to be smart or interesting. I'm just trying to keep my fingers on the keyboard. Smart and interesting can happen later in the day after I get some of that decaf coffee in my bloodstream.

I do another writing exercise during the day. It's a book of silly opening sentences and absurd restrictions. For example, on one page the author has scattered random words across the page and you have to write so that those words fit into your sentences. The pages are also covered with bold and ridiculous images. And she always begins the instructions with "Write a story that begins with ..." But the page is only about 20 lines long! Is it possible to write a story in 20 lines? I can't do it. I'm horrible with plot anyways but in 20 lines! I can barely get a character onto the page in 20 lines. OK, so I've gotten slightly better at that but still! Who thinks a person can write a story in 20 lines. If you say "I can," you're an asshole and you need to shut up.

Of course, now I've been writing for 10 minutes and I'M bored. Poor yous. What are you going to do with yourselves for another 20 minutes.

How does one get efficient enough to write for 30 minutes straight and make some good choices without getting bogged down by doubt and indecision. Obviously 30 minutes is a long time if you really just put your fingers on the keyboard and let whatever crap roll out of your head and onto the screen.

The happy medium is hard to find.

Now see this is fun. I talk about crap rolling out of my head and I see this image of a big dookie on a bed in my brain rolling out from under the covers, stumbling to the medicine cabinet for vitamins, rubbing a little dookie doggie, fixing some coffee, and then sitting itself down in front of the laptop to write for 30 minutes.

And the happy medium that's hard to find calls to mind the image of a psychics convention full of grumbling depressed people and whenever you ask someone where the happy medium is they say "The crystal ball is cloudy." or "The cards tell me nothing." or "I think she's in the far east corner."

It isn't really writing but it entertains the hell out of me. Wouldn't it be fabulous is you could, in fact, ______ the hell out of someone. Maybe that's what the happy medium does. She divines the hell out of people.

And still 10 more minutes to go. Do you hate me yet? Have you quit reading!?

I just want to make you laugh. That's it. Think a little. Laugh. Love me! Ooh that one slipped in by accident. But it is true. I've thought alot about why people write and I don't really know about anyone else but me ... I want to be laughed at, loved, and understood a little better. I want to explain where I'm coming from but I also want to confuse the hell out of you. Ooh there I go again. Trying to save souls. Maybe I want to do that too.

Eight minutes. This is ridiculous.

I want to explain to you why I've got that stupid book full of writing exercises. Technical writing is a very dry and lifeless kind of writing for the most part. Your goal is to be clear and concise, which are admirable goals in most kinds of writing, but also to avoid complex sentences at all cost. Not that long ago I came to the terrifying realization that I could not write a complex sentence anymore. It was nearly impossible! At that point I thought, I must break out of the tech writer mold immediately. (image of woman sheathed head to toe in green fuzz).

While it has been incredibly freeing for me, it has done nothing good for my tech writer morale. I no longer care whether something is bolded or not! The point size on a particular heading matters not to me! And I'll use a damn complex sentence if I want to, dammit! I want to write: "Use common sense people! This shit isn't that hard!!!"

(fuck you, I know that's not a complex sentence)

So here I am now, four minutes away from finishing, and I know that you're not going to like this anyways and I've had enough ...

1 Comments:

Blogger Guerreiro said...

You can write a story in twenty lines if you don't have much to say...

Anyways, i liked the improvisational style.

7:02 PM

 

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