Thank you Sarah Selecky for SarahSelecky.com. Every day she sends out a writing prompt. Thing like: “Write a scene that takes place at the base of a tower.”
The idea is that you (me) write for ten minutes every day. By hand. On paper.
Ten measly minutes. Hardly any time at all. It can be done on the bus on the way to work. Heck, it can be done waiting for the bus. It takes me longer than that to get comfy in front of my computer and get Word up and running.
The real joy of this turned out to be uncoupling from the tech. No writing on the computer, not on the tablet, not on the phone (blech).
The first stories I ever wrote were in pencil on paper with pieces of wood embedded in it. I graduated to a pen and smooth paper with lines shortly after starting school and discovering that you could write anything in a scribbler.
What I have found is that the fountain of my muse flows smoother when filtered through a writing instrument onto a page. I am not sure if that is because those stories in my head are sourced in my youngster self, or if it just responds better to tactile stimulation.
That ten minute time limit is another mind freeing element. When I sit down with hours to fill with words and worlds of wonder, my internal mouth goes dry and I find myself staring at the empty white screen while something in my head screams, “Let me OUT of here!” in a desperate voice.
But, when I only have to fill ten minutes with writing, well, that is a magical release. The story comes blinking into the light and I can see it all and I write quickly, trying to capture it complete before my time is up. I don’t always get it all down, but I almost always see all of it, and am able to remember it when I return to the page later.
Sometimes the ten minutes stretches to fifteen, twenty, twenty-five or more . When I put down my pen I feel as if I have been making magic. Tired, but fulfilled. Sometimes, the whole story is written down on my paper and I don’t feel as if any of it was forced.
When that happens, it really is magic.
Thank you Sarah Selecky for showing me where I hid the story wand.