A couple of weeks ago I stumbled on a group of writers chatting on Twitter. I’d never really done much with Twitter, never really knew what to do there, but I checked out the chat (discovered one of my Facebook friends there), took a deep breath and responded to a few comments. It felt so good that I made a point of attending the chat again yesterday. (You can find the chat on Twitter at #writechat every sunday afternoon from 3:00 until 6:00 pm ET.)
One guy mentioned that he made a point of writing every day. He said he was afraid if he stopped, he’d have a hard time getting started again. I told him it was a realistic fear since that’s what happened to me. I also said I was recommitting myself to blogging since it wasn’t as big a commitment as writing a novel or even a short story, and that I was hoping eventually I’d get in the habit of writing fiction again. Then another writer (Suzanna) suggested I commit myself to ten minutes a day. Suzanna told us about Natalie Goldberg’s idea of wild mind writing. Pick three words at random, then use those words to write for ten minutes without thinking. Just write terrible, boring things, the most terrible you can. According to Suzanna, it is not about speed, it’s about continuity. Keeping the pen moving.
This really caught my attention. Last year I did NaNoWriMo in the hopes that I’d find the place inside where the wild words live, but I never did. I did do some respectable writing, so the month wasn’t a waste, but it didn’t accomplish what I wanted. Before that, I followed Julia Cameron’s idea of doing morning pages. Again, I did some respectable writing, but no wildness came of it. But ten minutes a day? I can do that, and I plan to do it for sure. Tomorrow maybe.
Click here to read Suzanna’s article about wild mind writing: Take a rest in your imagination