Writing 101 – Day One. Unlock the Mind. Free write for 20 minutes.
Hmmmmm —- It’s not so far from midnight after a rather long and trying day so I hesitate to simply free associate here for fear of publicizing some possibly strange stuff. Probably best to control it with a theme of sorts. But what theme exactly….pets, kids, jobs, my return to writing? Ah – that’s the one.
It used to be second nature to me, almost effortless in a sense. Through years of trial and error, practice and just simply doing it I had developed what folks sometimes call “a voice.” My voice. A distinctive way of expressing myself through writing that “sounded like me” and still met all the basic tenets of good writing. In college The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. was ever at hand. I could even quote from it if necessary. My voice was journalistic, “newsy” and restrained. Correct, Objective, Journalistic.
Later I played with poetry classes and creative writing courses and vastly enjoyed both. Again, a voice developed to fit with what I was writing. Creative, Lyrical, sometimes Quirky.
As I moved into the performing arts my style changed dramatically (pun oh so intended) when I began writing plays and film scripts. This “voice” is perhaps one of the most limited I’ve encountered and at the same time one of the most liberating. Suddenly anything you can visualize, any story which you can show yourself in your brain, is what you are attempting to put down on paper. In a very stringent format.
Intermission occurred. I took a break from writing while I pursued a new adventure called “Raising a Family” and after some time I now find myself coming back around to it. But now I’m worried my “voice” has disappeared. I find myself breaking rules, writing half sentences, beginning with prepositions and ending with dangling bits and pieces. It’s not pretty, I tell you.
So will my voice come back I wonder? That effortless confidence that I had something to say and could say it well? As I tiptoe around here trying a bit of this and a little of that, I worry. Maybe it will, but maybe it will continue to be a struggle. Fortunately for me it’s now been twenty minutes since I began reflecting on this subject and I don’t have to come to a conclusion this evening! Ah, procrastination, I recognize your pretty face.
Free Write Assignment: Completed!