Day 1 – The lose mind

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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.

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16 thoughts on “Day 1 – The lose mind

  1. Great job! I definitely used to spend a lot of time comparing my work to the work of others, but after a point I decided I would rather be inspired by others, not intimidated. It is good to have models to achieve to be similar to. I liked how you didn’t read any other entries for the prompt and just wrote yours first. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you so much! 🙂
      I know what you mean and the “being inspired” part is definitely very much important. But I found that it is really difficult to find my voice amidst all the inspiring things I read because they are so very different. One blog is mainly every-day-life with lots of pictures, another is very spiritual and philosophical yet another is about crafting etc. etc. I sometimes struggle with finding my focus within all of those various topics that interest and inspire me.

      But well, that is part of why I’m participating in the Blogging U Writing 101 😉

      • Hi Julie!

        I definitely have been there before – having way too many interests and not knowing where to narrow them down!

        I try to take a minimalist approach to life, so I know it helped me to just make a couple of lists, such as, things I want to do every day (write, read, exercise, etc), and my main interests (spirituality, social change, etc).

        I find that when I concentrate on the big picture, the little details sort themselves out, but that is just me, everyone is different, which is a great thing! 🙂

        The way I see it about finding your own voice is that it is okay to take different elements that you like about others’ work and incorporate it into your own, because I feel like no one else will ever take all the unique components you admire in others and put them together in such a way that you will, so you will still be original!

        Like if I see a blog I really admire, instead of sort of feeling like I wish I was better and as good as them, I can pick out the specific things they did that I like. For example, have a great color palette, or a banner image. Then when I go back and incorporate those things to my blog, it doesn’t feel like copying because it isn’t. 🙂

        I hope this makes sense, and helps, I think it is good to get different opinions from time to time. I’m glad we are both in Writing 101 and I look forward to growing our blogs with each other’s support!

      • Hey Liz,

        oh, wow, thank you so much for these lovely words! I admire your minimalistic approach to life, which is one thing that I’m aspiring to as well – more or less successfully 😉

        The way I see it about finding your own voice is that it is okay to take different elements that you like about others’ work and incorporate it into your own, because I feel like no one else will ever take all the unique components you admire in others and put them together in such a way that you will, so you will still be original!

        This makes totally and wonderfully sense and really helps. I often felt like trying to piece together “other” blogs instead of looking at it as taking aspects from others to incorporate into something of my own in a unique way. I really do feel better about it already – and I’m so with you: I’m also super glad we’re both in Writing 101 and hope to share more and equally inspiring moments, comments and insights on this writing journey.

      • I’m glad I could help, I went through, and still go through, similar thought processes. It’s all about forging those new ways of thinking! And I wanted to point out to you, I think somehow your settings have swapped the number of the month for the number of the day on your blog. For example, today it says 3/6, yesterday it was 2/6, if you get what I mean. Should be an easy fix!

      • Hehe. I’m German, that’s our normal way of displaying the date. Day/Month/Year. But you’re right, maybe I should change it here as there are bound to be mostly Non-German visitors. Thanks for pointing it out!

  2. Hi, I loved your piece, especially the part about mirrors :). I can totally relate to what you are saying. And I agree that you put in a little bit of yourself in every piece you are involved in, whether it is writing or role playing.

    • Thank you 🙂
      You know what I love most about the thought of parts of ourselves being in everything we do, write or act/play? That it shows the myriads of facettes we’re made of. We’re not only one thing or another, one character trait or another, we’re so many, many things.

      • Now that I’m reading so many other wonderfully written assignments, I feel that mine pales in comparison. But I guess, it was good to actually write something than nothing at all!

      • I felt the same way while writing. But I think it’s not about comparison – we’re not doing the challenge for others, right? 🙂 And having written and just having let go, the assignment succeeded in what it was supposed to achieve.

    • It totally was 😀 I really do think I’ll try to make it a habit to at least once a week just *write* without planning ahead or having a topic in advance.

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