Welcome to Writing 101: Building a Blogging Habit. In these twenty days, we’ll dive into the elements of storytelling, help you cut through writer’s block and — as Natalie Goldberg teaches — access the pure thoughts and ideas of your wild mind.
To get started, let’s loosen up. Let’s unlock the mind. Today, take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write.
Write to losen one’s mind. Twenty minutes. No thinking – does that work? Not to think? Not to plan what to write? Not to censure yourself, cut words, sentences, thoughts, feelings? This, the Writing 101, is supposed to help me find my voice. One of my biggest flaws is to think too much, to criticize myself too much, especially in writing. And even worse: to try and copy others. No, wrong word, not copying, but having thoughts like “I wish I wrote this. I wish I wrote like this.” And of course my next entry or story tries to somewhat sound like the entry I liked. Whether it’s another blog with lots and lots of followers that I admire or another author. Oh dear, now this is turning into ramblings about writing instead of just writing. But I must confess I find this harder than expected. I deliberately did not read any other entries for this challenge so that I wasn’t biased but I kind of feel like this, this is not exactly what I hoped it to be. No, don’t stop writing to think about what to write. This is not about thinking. This is about writing. Getting something done, something across. Maybe I should turn on the subject why I write? That part of myself is very near to me anyhow these days. I’m an avid Roleplayer, Pen&Paper and LARP (Live Action Role Play), and there was a kind of crisis last Saturday at the Vampire Live evening which is still on my mind. But not to dwell on what exactly happened – why do I do Roleplay? Some people might think it’s just a poor excuse to escape from my real life. And partly, they’re right. To let some part of your self go, to take on a role that you might not be able to take on in “real” life, is certainly an escape from one’s life. Or should I rather say to another life? To immerse oneself actively in a story that often is “larger than life” is to stretch your muscles in imagination. But other than reading for example, where you can also lose yourself completely in the world that the author created for you, this time you create and shape the world. Both in Roleplaying – especially when LARPing, where you act out a role, in costume and all, reacting to the situation around you, the other players, the plot, taking part and shaping the events instead of just watching, reading them unfold – and in writing. I just wanted to write “at least when you’re writing fiction” but that’s not true, is it? Even when you’re writing, blogging about your life, things that happened or thoughts you have, pictures you take – you’re creating something. No blog, no diary can really show your reader what your life is actually like. It can mirror some things, but a mirror also never shows the reality as it is – it is always mirrored, sides switched. Every time you write, you also create. Be it a picture of your life, be it a fiction which is basically a picture of other lives, imaginary ones that are nonetheless also always parts of your self. Isn’t every character created, every world shaped, every event happening also part of the personalty of the author? I think, no one can truely and absolutely separate themselves from their writing. The same is true for Roleplaying. You are acting, of course, and you’re reacting not like you would react but like your character would – but basically, you act, live an aspect of yourself that cannot express itself otherwise. Everything we do is an expression of aspects of ourselves. Of our selves.
Okay, time’s up. Whoa. Do I read what I wrote or do I just click “publish”? Okay. Let’s go for it. Take the leap. Publish.