Free Writing

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I’ve got to do some warming up this morning. I must warn anyone stopping by here, that posts may be short and disjointed. They may appear to stop in mid-stream, or jump from one point to another, or simply be nonsense. The reason for this is that I am following the advice of the authors of several writing books that when one feels “blocked” or unable to even begin to put words on paper, it can be helpful to just sit down and start typing. They call it free-writing; it seems to be helpful.

My problem is that when I sit down to continue work on my breakout, Edgar winning mystery novel, my orderly accountant’s mind won’t get into writing gear, it just makes me want to sit and look at the screen, hoping to find some spreadsheet to work on. I don’t have quite as great a problem if I am trying to write something long hand, like a quick note on a plot idea, but to sit in front of a computer screen is daunting.

Having said that, I come to a point Steven made in his comment here the other day, or it may have been in a post at his site about modern poetry, or both. He was writing on the rather sad state of modern poetry, a point I heartily agree with him about. The fact is that most of it is just meaningless words, or lack thereof, strung out page after page, making no sense and contributing in no way to the goal any artist should have, that of achieving the true and beautiful. There is no discipline of form or structure, just the typing of someone little more advanced than any ape. He made the corollary point, that good writing has a value all its own, regarless of genre.

So my free writing brings on a pang of guilt. I firmly agree with Steven, that a writer, any writer, owes it to his audience to do the very best he can. He should follow the basic rules of grammar and spelling, while, at the same time, he’s trying to achieve something higher with his work, trying to point the reader to a greater truth. I think this rule holds true whether is be for the writer with a blog, or a writer trying to write the Great American Novel, whatever his project is. Clearly, posting my free writing here may often violate that rule. But, it does help me get into gear for some more serious writing.


Nice to see you blogging again!
Vivat Jesus
Pax et bonum

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Ron Moffat published on May 8, 2005 7:09 AM.

A Sense of Place was the previous entry in this blog.

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